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FROM 1795 TO 1872 


A. 1. Eth7iQg7'apJiy and Condition of South Africa before 

A,D. 1505 (this takes the place of a volume entitled 
The Yellow and Dark-Skinned People of Africa 
South of the Zambesi). 

13. 2, 3, 4. History of South Africa from 1505 to 1795, in three 

volumes, viz. : — 
Vol. I. The Portviguese in South Africa. Fourth 

Vol. II. \ The Administration of the Dutch East India 

Vol. III. j Third Edition, a few copies still on hand. 

C. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. History of South Africa from 1795 to 1872, in five 

volumes, viz. : — 
Vols. I. II. and III. Fourth Edition. 
Vol. IV. Revised Edition. 
Vol. V. With Synoptical Index, in the press. 

D. 10, 11. Histoid of South Africa from 1873 to I884. Twelve 

Eventful Years. In tv/o volumes. 


FROM 1795 TO 1872 










^ J 5 ) J 

First Published . , . 3Iay 1SS9 
Second Edition . . . June 19C0 
Third ,, . November 1908 

Reprinted July 1911 

Fourth Edition , November 1919 

{All rights res&rv&d) 




1860 TO 15th OF AUGUST 1861. 

15th of JANUARY 1862. 

Different position of the governor of the Cape Colony before and 
after 1872. — First visit of Prince Alfred to South Africa. — 
Great hunt at Hartebeest Hoek. — Commencement of the 
construction of a breakwater in Table Bay. — Change of name 
of Port Frances to Port Alfred. — Legalisation of English weights 
and measures only in the Cape Colony. — Effort of the British 
settlers of Albany to have the eastern province formed 
into a distinct colony. — Commencement of the construction 
of a clock in Table Bay. — Construction of lighthouses on 
Kobben Island and in Simon's Bay, of a railway from Cape- 
town to Wynberg, and a telegraph Ime from East London 
to Simonstown. — Introduction of Angora goats. — Unrest in 
Zululand. — Dealings of the Natal government with Ketshwayo. 
— Panic in Natal caused by Ketshwa^^o's action. — Prompt 
measures adopted by Sir George Grey. — Promotion of educa- 
tion by Sir George Grey. — Establishment of a theological 
seminary at Stellenbosch. — Divergent views of Sh' George Grey 
and a very large party in England as to the extension 
of British rule in South Africa. — Departure of Sir George 
Grey. — Presentation by Sir George Grey of a valuable library 
to the Cape Colony. — Arrival of Sir Philip Y/odehouse as 
governor of the Cape Colony and high commissioner „« «.. 1 


vi " Contents, 




15th of JANUARY 1SC2, RETIRED 20tH OF MAY 1870. 

Positions held by Sir Philip Wodehouse before becoming governor 
of the Caps Colony. — Depression throughout the colony. — 
Immigration and emigration of Europeans. — Proceedings during 
the session of the Cape parliament in 1862. — Tour of the 
governor through British Kaffraria. — Proceedings regarding 
the Transkeian territory. — Rejection by the parliament of the 
governor's bill to annex British Kaffraria to the Cape Colony. 
— Progress in the construction of railways. — Occupation of the 
last Bushman territory in the Cape Colony. — Dealings with the 
Bushmen. — Proceedings during the session of the Cape parlia- 
ment in 1863. — Result of a general election. — Proceedings 
during the session of the Cape parliament held in Grahams- 
town in 1864. — Increase of taxation. — Revenue of the Cape 
Colony. — Creation of the eastern districts court. — Increase of 
the mail service with England. — Distress in the colony. — 
Domestication of the ostrich. — Account of British troops in 
South Africa. — Particulars of the census of 1865 of the Cane 

V^OiOIX V ••• ••• ••• ••• * •• ••• St* ••• ••# ^ A 



Condition of the Transkeian territories after 1858. — Succession of 
magistrates at Idutywa. — Negotiations with the Tembus of 
Glen Grey for an exchange of land. — Conditions under which it 
was proposed to locate Europeans in the Transkeian terri- 
tory. — Dealings with Kreli. — ^Determination of the secretary of 
state for the colonies to withdraw British dominion from the 
Transkei. — Restoration of a portion of the territory to Kreli. — 
Renewal of negotiations with the Tembus of Glen Grey, who 
obtain a large tract of land in the Transkei, but give up 
nothing in exchange. — Dealings with Nonesi. — Entile attempt to 
obtain the Gaika location in exchange for ground east of the 
Kei. — Location of Fingos beyond the Kei. — Policy adopted 
towards the tribes and clans there. — Feud between the Tembus 
and the Xosas. — European settlements in Tembuland. — War 
between the Tembus and Xosas. — Account of the Fingos in 

Contents, vii 

the Transkei. — Description of Griqualand East. — Dealings with 
Faku. — Tribes and clans between the Umtata river and Natal. 
—Dealings of the Natal government with Faku. — Proceedings 
of Nehemiah Moshesh. — Location of Adam Kok's Griquas in 
Nomansland. — Ejection of Nehemiah Moshesh by the Griquas. 
— Location of various Bantu clans in the remainder of the 
territory. — General discord and strife 44 




Objections of the majority of the European inhabitants of British 
Kaffraria to annexation to the Cape Colony. — Visit of Sir 
Philip Wodehouse to King - Williamstown. — Removal of . 
Lieutenant-Governor Maclean to Natal. — Passing of a pro- 
visional annexation act by the imperial parliament. — Stormy 
debate in the Cape parliament. — Amalgamation of an annexation 
bill and an additional representation bill. — Passing of the 
amalgamated bill. — Completion of the annexation. — Statistics of 
British Kaffraria at the time. — Great gale in Table Bay and 
loss of many vessels. — Partial destruction of the village of 
Swellendam by fire. — Distress throughout the Cape Colony. — 
Proceedings of parliament in 1866. — Conflict between the 
governor and the parliament. — Loss of life from an epidemic 
of low fever. — Condition of the water supply of Capetown. — 
Proceedings of parliament in 1867. — Reduction in number of 
the British troops in South Africa. — Failure of the governor's 
plan for diminishing the oi parliament. — Exhibition of 
the first diamond found in South Africa. — Imports of the 
Cape Colony from 1862 to 1867. — Comparative trade through 
the different ports. — Exports from 1862 to 1867 70 







Second visit of Prince Alfred to South Africa. — Wreck of the 
transport Eosfhorus, — Condition of the Cape Colony in 1868. 

viii Contents. 

— Disturbed condition of the northern border. — Principal 
Korana clans there. — Appointment of a special magistrate 
and enrolment of a force termed the northern border police. — 
Dealings with the Bushmen. — Operations against the Korana 
insurgents. — Result of the general election of 1869. — Conflict 
between the governor and the parliament. — Rejection of the 
governor's measures. — Dissolution of the house of assembly 
and appeal by Sir Philip Wcdehouse to the country to decide 
upon the future form of government. — Construction of a 
railway from Port NoUoth to Ookiep by the Cape Copper 
Mining Company. — Destructive fire in the Knysna, Humans- 
dorp, and Uitenhage districts. — Destructive floods in the 
midland districts. — Wrecks in a gale at Algoa Bay. — Result of 
the governor's appeal to the country. — Proceedings of the 
Cape parliament in the session of 1870. — Particulars concern- 
ing the public debt. — Retirement of Sir Philip Wodehouse as 
governor of the Cape Colony. — Celebration of the fiftieth 
anniversary of the arrival of the British settlers.— Opening 
of the docks in Table Bay.— Purchase by the government of 
the harbour works at Port Alfred. — Experiments in the 
cultivation of silk, flax, and cotton in the Cape Colony. — 
Change for the better in the seasons 95 




AiTival of Sir Henry Barkly as governor and high commissioner. 
■ — Lengthy tour of the new governor.— Proceedings of the 
Cape parliament in the session of 1871. — Divergent views of 
the governor and the members of the executive council. — 
Debate on the introduction of responsible government. — Pro- 
ceedings regarding federation. — Passing of the responsible 
government bill by the house of assembly. — Its rejection by 
the legislative council. — of the various sections of 
colonists towards federation.— Report of the federation com- 
mission. — Creation of the district of Wodehouse. — Improvement 
of the harbour of East London. — Commencement of the con- 
struction of railways in tlie eastern province.' — Price of Kaffir 
labour. — Destructive flood at the village of Victoria West ... 114 

Contents. ix 



Attitude of different parties towards responsible government. — 
The governor's speech at the opening of parliament. — Division 
lists in the house of assembly regarding responsible govern- 
ment. — Passing of the responsible government bill through 
the legislative council. — Protest of eastern province members 
against the measure. — Failure of the eastern province 
members to obtain separation of the provinces or removal 
of the seat of government. — Creation of the new electoral 
division of Wodehouse. — Reform in the manner of electing 
members of tlia legislative council. — Construction of a graving 
dock in Table Bay. — Purchase of the existing railways by the 
government. — Construction of new lines of railway. — Purchase 
of the existing line of electric telegraph by the government, 
and its extension. — Passing of the voluntary bill. — Formation 
of the first responsible ministry. — Retirement of the former 
heads of departments. — Particulars concerning imperial troops 
in South Africa. — Disbandment of the Cape mounted rifle 
regiment. — Constitution of the colonial defensive forces. — 
Statistics of schools. — Rapid communication with England. — 
Wreck of shipping at East London. — Imports and exports of 
the Cape Colony from 1868 to 1872. — Revenue and expenditure 

vU S.O i ^ •!• ••• •«• e<* ••• ••• ••• ••• ••* xo4 



Succession of heads of the government. — Causes of the small 
number of European immigrants. — Introduction of labourers 
from India. — -Influx of other Asiatics. — Baneful effects upon the 
white colonists. — Efforts to promote commerce with the 
republics. — Construction of harbour works. — Opening of the 
first railway in South Africa. — Construction of a lighthouse on 
the Bluff. — Effect of a great storm. — Progress of sugar 
planting. — Experiments in cotton growing. — Progress of coffee 
planting. — Account of other agricultural industries. — Losses of 
cattle by red water.— Progress in educational institutions and 
courts of law. — Enlargement of the colony. — Particulars concern- 
ing the Bantu. — Strife between the executive and the elected 

X Contents. 

members of the council. — Alteration of the constitution. — 
Reckless speculations in the colony. — Commercial disasters. — 
Effect of the discovery of diamonds along the Vaal. — 
Ecclesiastical matters. — Shipwrecks at the port. — Population 
returns. — Condition of Maritzburg and Durban. — Particulars 
concerning the revenue. — Amount of the public debt. — 
Troops and volunteers in Natal. — Particulars concerning the 
imports and exports. — Death of the Zulu chief Panda and 
accession of Ketshwayo. — Preservation of peace 155 



Character of Moshesh. — Disregard of his engagements by Moshesh. 
— Failure of Moshesh to observe the treaty of 1858. — Project 
of Sir George Grey to locate Jan Letele and Lehana in 
Nomansland. — Frustration of this plan by Moshesh sending 
his son Nehemiah to reside there. — Unsuccessful efforts of 
Nehemiah to induce Sir George Grey to acknowledge his 
ownership of a portion of Nomansland. — Allotment of the 
Beersheba lands to farmers from the Basuto side of the new 
boundary. — Deputation sent by President Boshof to Moshesh 
to urge him to observe the treaty. — Resignation of Presi- 
dent Boshof. — Appointment by the volksraad of Mr. E. R. 
Snyman as acting president. — Ordinance concerning the 
nomination of candidates for the presidency. — Unsuccessful 
efforts to induce Moshesh to suppress cattle thefts. — Irritation 
caused by Jan Letele' s conduct. — Acquisition by the Free 
State of the Korana and Bushman locations along the Vaal. 
— Quarrel between the reverend Mr. Pellissier and Lepui, chief 
of the Batlapin at Bethuiie. — Cession by Lepui of Bethulie 
to the Free State. — Sale of the ground by Lepui's followers 
to white people. — Establishment of district courts at Bethulie, 
Boshof, and Kroonstad. — Foundation of the village of 
Bethlehem. — Election of Mr. Marthinus Wessel Pretorius 
as president of the Free State. — General feeling in favour 
of the union of the three republics. — Declaration of Sir 
George Grey that in case of their union the conventions 
with Great Britain would be cancelled. — Large majority 
in the Free State in favour of union with the South African 
Republic. ^Conference between representatives of the two 
lepublics. — ^Disinclination of the executive council of the 

Contents, xi 

South African Republic to unite with the Free State if 
the convention of 1852 would thereby be cancelled. — Failure 
of the efforts for union. — Friendly meeting of President 
Pretorius v/iln Moshesh. — Project of a mixed court on the 
border. — Patronage of Bushmen by Poshuli. — Robbery and 
murder by Bushmen. — ^Unsuccessful effort to induce Moshesh 
to surrender the Bushmen. — Moshesh' s professions to 
Prince Alfred. — Second meeting of President Pretorius 
and Moshesh. — Arrangement of the boundary from Jammer- 
berg Drift to Paul Smit's Berg. — Character of the Barolong 
chief Moroko. — Dealing of the Free State with Moroko. — 
Disturbances caused by Nehemiah in Nomansland. — Effects 
of mission work in the Lesuto. — Evils caused by renegade 
Europeans in the Lesuto. — Visit of Landdrost Van Soelen 
to Moshesh. — Repudiation by Moshesh of his engagements. — 
Establishment of the district of Jacobsdal. — Purchase of 
farms by white people from Griquas. — Offer of part of 
Nomansland by Sir George Grey to Adam Kok. — Removal 
of Adam Kok and his clan to Nomansland. — Molestation 
of the Griquas by Nehemiah. — Ejection of Nehemiah from 
Nomansland. — Sale by the Griquas to the Free State of 
their land and sovereign rights north of the Orange. — 
Establishment of a district court at Philippolis. — Division 
of the Free State in 1862 into ten districts. — Raid by 
Poshuli upon Ja,n Letele's clan. — Report of a commission of 
inquiry. — Ruin of Jan Letele. — Unfriendly communication 
from Governor Sir Philip Wodehouse.- — Mission of Messrs. 
Orpen and Burnet to Moshesh 179 



Disturbances in the Winburg and Harrismith districts. — Scornful 
treatment by Moshesh of a deputation from the Free State 
government. — Mission of President Pretorius and Mr. Allison to 
Sir Philip Wodehouse. — Efforts of the Basuto to push back 
the Europeans. — Religious excitement in Basutoland. — Efforts 
of the Free State government to induce Sir Philip Wode- 
house to point out the boundary. — Resignation of President 
Pretorius. — Foundation of the village of Edenburg. — ■ 
Establishment of several banks. — Purchase of Beersheba. — 
Appointment of Mr. Venter as acting president. — Extravagant 

xli Contents. 

proposal of Moshesh. — Foundation of the vilkuge of Rouxville. 
— Election of Advocate J. H. Brand as president. — Amend- 
ment of the constitution. — System of public schools. — Pre- 
tensions of the Griqua captain Waterboer to the Campbell 
grounds and to a large portion of the Free State. — 
Ecclesiastical matters, — Prohibition of foreign banks. — Creation 
of a paper currency by the government. — Kegotiations between 
the high commissioner, the Free State government, and 
Moshesh. — Arrival of Sir Philip Wodehouse at Aliwal North. 
— Failure of the first attempt at mediation. — Consent of the 
high commissioner to define the boundary. — Conference at 
Jammerberg Drift. — Examination of the country along the 
border by Sir Philip Wodehouse. — Method of carrying out the 
award by the Basuto. — Violent conduct of Ramanela. — Theft 
of horses by Tsekelo. — Efforts of I\Ioshesh to provoke 
hostilities. — Operations against Pvamanela. — Ultimatum sent to 
Moshesh. — Declaration of war with the Basuto 202 




Comparison of the military strength of the combatants. — Proclama- 
tion by Moshesh. — Failure of an attack upon Mabolela by the 
Free Sta,te forces. — Gallant proposal of Commandant Wepener. 
— Raids by the Basuto into the Free State. — Massacres by 
Masupha's followers. — Victory of burghers under Com- 
mandant Louis V/essels at Verkecrde Vlei. — Massacre of a 
party of citizens of the South African Republic by Ramanela's 
followers. — Proclamation of neutrality issued by Sir Philip 
Wodehouse. — Storming of Vechtkop by Commandant Wepener. 
— Occupation of Letsie's town by Commandant Wepener. — 
Storming of the Berea mountain by General Fick. — Concentra- 
tion of the Free State forces before Thaba Bosigo. — Unsuc- 
cessful attempt to take Thaba Bosigo by storm. — Life in the 
Free State camp. — Second unsuccessful attempt to storm 
Thaba Bo.sigo. — Death of Commandant Wepener. — Subtle over- 
tures of Moshesh. — Loss of cattle on Thaba Bosigo. — Terms of 
peace offered by President Brand. — Demand upon Moshesh by 
the president of the South African Republic 228 

Contents. xlii 



TRIBE, (continued). 

Rejection by Moshesh of the president's terms. — Condition of the 
garrison of Thaba Bosigo. — Arrival of a large force from the 
South African Republic. — Night attack upon Commandant- 
General Kruger's camp. — Victory of the combined forces of 
Kruger and Fick at Cathcart's Drift. — Return home of General 
Kruger's commando. — Defeat of Morosi's clan by Commandant 
Pieter Wessels. — EfTorts of President Brand to raise a large 
volunteer corps. — Remonstrances of Sir Philip Wodehouse. — 
Defeat of Molapo by General Fick at Leribe. — Abandonment of 
the Lesuto by the chief Lebenya. — Atrocities committed by 
parties of Basuto. — Raid by Ranianela into Natal, and its con- 
sequences. — Attack upon Winburg by Molitsane. — Attack 
upon Bethlehem by Molapo' s warriors, who are driven back 
with heavy loss. — Oiler of mediation by the high commissioner. 
—Meeting of the volksraad of the Free State. — Expulsion of 
the French missionaries from the territory overrun. — Rejection 
of the high commissioner's offer of mediation. — Expedition into 
the Drakensberg. — Overtures of Mola]:!o for peace. — General 
suspension of hostilities. — Renewal of the war with Moshesh 
and Letsie. — Treaty of peace with ^lolapo. — Great meeting of 
Basuto chiefs at Thaba Bosigo. — Plan of the chiefs to save their 
crops by pretending to enter into a treaty of peace. — Over- 
tures of Moshesh. — Agreement of peace. — New boundary 
between the Free State and the Lesuto. — Treaty of Thaba 

-E^^^l^^ ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• -••• ^OU 



Resolutions of the volksraad of the Orange Free State regard- 
ing the land acquired by the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. — 
Regulations for the government of Molapo' s clan. — Issue of 
£43,000 in notes to meet pressing debts, and of £67,000 in 
notes to assist impoverished burghers. — Objections of Sir 
Philip Wodehouse to the treaties of Imparani and Thaba 

xiv Contents. 

Bosigo. — Unsuccessful efforts of Moshesh and Letsie to obtain 
British protection. — Desire expressed by Letsie, Moperi, and 
Molitsane to be received as subjects of the Free State.— 
Refusal of Letsie' s request. — Lenient treatment of Molitsane 
and Moperi. — Opinion in England concerning the breaking 
up of the mission stations in the territory acquired by the 
Free State. — Resolutions of the volksraad regarding tlio 
mission societies. — Establishment of a mission at Thaba 
Ntshu by the church of England. — Efforts of Samuel Moroko 
to supplant Tsepinare. — Rejection by the Paris missionary 
society of the oiter of the Free State government. — Unsuc- 
cessful attempt to locate Europeans in the ceded territory. — • 
Preparations of Moshesh to recover the ground ceded by the 
treaty of Thaba Bosigo. — Efforts of the Free State to expel 
Basuto squatters. — Professed submission of the squatters, and 
their entreaty to be received as Free State subjects. — Yielding 
of the volksraad. — Reception of Letsie and a number of petty 
captains as Free State subjects. — Reserves set apart for 
Letsie, Moperi, and Molitsane. — Dissatisfaction of the high 
commissioner with these arrangements. — Want of a police 
force. — Great alteration in the conduct of the Basuto as soon 
as the harvest is stored. — Murder of an Englishman in the 
ceded territory, and protection of the murderer by Moshesh. 
— Defiant letter addressed bv Moshesh to President Brand. 
— Murder of a farmer in the ceded territory. — Call to a^rms 
of the burghers of the Free State to compel Moshesh to 
observe the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. — Removal of Moperi to 
Witsi's Hoek, and his subsequent peaceable conduct. — Tactics 
employed by the Basuto, — Capture of Makwai's mountain by 
Chief -Commandant Pansegrouw's division of the burgher force. 
— Removal of Makwai and his clan to Nomansland. — Conduct 
of Mr. David Dale Buchanan. — Consent of the secretary of 
state for the colonies to the reception of Moshesh as a 
British subject. — Notification of this to President Brand and 
to Moshesh. — Objections of President Brand. — ^Military 
successes of the force under Chief-Commandant Joubert. — 
Capture of Tandjesberg by the force under Chief- Commandant 
Pansegrouw. — Death of Poshuli. — Stoppage by Sir Philip 
Wodehouse of the supply of ammunition through British 
ports to the Free State. — Capture of the Kieme by the force 
under Chief- Commandant Pansegrouw. — Proclamation by Sir 
Philip Wodehouse declaring the Basuto to be British subjects 
and their countr^^ British territory „ ,., 278 

Contents, xv 



Opinion of the Europeans in Soutja Africa concerning the 
reception of the Basuto as British subjects. — Financial condition 
of the Free State. — Appointment of Sir Walter Currie as 
high commissioner's agent in the Lesuto. — ^Action of President 
Brand and the volksraad of the Orange Free State. — 
Visit of Sir Pliilip Wodehouse to Basutoland. — Correspondence 
between Sir Philip Wodehouse and President Brand. — Con- 
dition of the Basuto. — Great meeting at Tliaba Bosigo. — 
Views of the Basuto chiefs. — Intrigues in. Basutoland. — 
Appointment of i\Ir. James Henry Bowker as high commis- 
sioner's agent. — Unsuccessful mission of the Free State delegates 
to England. — Negotiations between the Free State government 
and the high commissioner. — Anarchy in Basutoland. — Action 
of the Xatal government. — Conference between denuties of 
the Free State and the high commissioner at Aliwal North. 
— Terms of the second conveniion of Aliwal North. — Meetuig 
of the high commissioner and the Basuto chiefs at Korokoro. 
— Trading regulations. — Visit of Sir Philip Wodehouse to 
Nomansland. — Assignment of locations to various clans that 
had migrated to Nomansland. — Selection of Maseru as the 
residence of the high commissioner's agent. — Disappointment of 
the Basuto with the high commissioner's settlement. — ^I^lission 
of ]\Ir. Buchanan, the reverend Mr. Daumas, and Tsekelo 
to England. — Action of various philanthropic societies in 
England. — Action of the Cape parliament. — Final ratification 
of the ^cond convention of Aliwal North ».. 302 



Discovery of Diaiiionds ami its Consequences. 

Account of the Griqua clan under Nicholas Waterboer. — Sir Harry 
Smith's dealings with the Griqua clans. — Treatment of Nicholas 
Waterboer by the Orange Free State in 1855. — Description of 
the Griqua territory. — Retrogression in civilisation of Water- 

Kvl Contents. 

boer'a clan. — Position of the districts of Griquatown and 
Albania. — Mr. Arnofs project of a European settlement in 
Albania. — Fruitless negotiations between the government of 
the Orange Free State and Sir. Arnot on behaK of Nicholas 
Waterboer. — Interview between President Brand and Nicholas 
Waterboer at Backhouse. — Agreement to refer the dispute 
concerning the ownership of the Campbell district to the 
arbitration of Sir Philip Wodehouse. — Inability of Sir Philip 
Wodehouse to act as arbitrator. — Important conference at 
Nooitgedacht between representatives of the Orange Free State 
and the Griqua council. — Proclamation of President Brand 
declaring the Campbell district the property of the Orange 
Free State. — Discovery of diamonds in the district of Hopetown 
and in the country about the junction of the Hart and Vaal 
rivers. — Various claimants of the last-named territory. — 
Mistaken action of the government of the South African 
Republic. — Establishment of an independent republic by the 
diamond- diggers. — Overtures of President Pretorius to the 
diggers. — Political parties at the diamond-fields. — Discovery of 
diamonds at the mission station of Pnicl in the Orange Free 
State. — Appointment of Mr. O. J. Truter as commissioner at 
Pniel. — Discovery of the dry diggings. — Disputes between the 
proprietors of the farms and the diggers. — Arrangements as to 
government. — Discovery of the Kimberley mine. — Description 
of the camps. — Controversy between Lieutenant-General Hay 
and President Brand. — Unsuccessful mission of Messrs. Brand 
and Hutton to Capetown 331 



Favourable opportunit3^ in 1870 to bring about perfect concord 
between the republics and colonies in South Africa. — Trans- 
actions of the Free State delegates and the high commissioner. 
— Proceedings of the special magistrate at Klipdrift. — Negotia- 
tions between the high commissioner and the authorities at 
Bloemfontein. — Misleading despatches to the secretary of 
state. — Irritating language used by Earl Kimberley. — Per- 
mission given to the high commissioner to annex Waterboer' s 
country under certain conditions. — Resolutions adopted by the 
Cape parliament. — Correspondence between Sir Henry Barkly 

Contents, xvli 

and President Brand. — Failure of J>Ir. Eamelberg's mission in 
England as diplomatic agent of the Orange Free State. — Issue 
of proclamations by Sir Henry Barkly declaring the principal 
diamond-fields British teri'itory by viilue of cession from 
Nicholas Waterboer. — Appointment of British officials in the 
annexed territory. — Particulars concerning the land annexed 
east of the Vaal. — Possession taken of the diamond-fields by the 
frontier armed and mounted police. — Protest of President 
Brand. — Pvctirement of Landdrost Truter. — ^IVIeeting of the 
volksraad in extraordinary session. — Address of the president. 
— Protest published by the volksraad. — Other diamond-fields 
in the Free State. — Revenue of the republic. — Reduction of 
the state debt. — Formation of the districts of Bethlehem and 
Rouxville. — Erection of a monument at Bloemfont^in in remem- 
brance of those who fell in the Basuto war 360 



Proclamation of British authority over the diamond-fields. — The 
case for Waterboer. — Bitter feeling in the republics. — Result 
upon the coloured people. — Riots at the diamond-fields. — 
Resolutions of a mass meeting of diggers. — Refusal of the 
Cape parliament to annex the territory. — Desire of the diggers 
as to government. — Condition of the principal mine. — 
Sensational robberies of diamonds. — Thefts of diamonds by 
black servants. — Renewal of rioting. — Demands of the diggers. — 
Concessions of the commissioners. — Action of Sir Henry Barkly. 
— Tenor of proclamations issued by him. — Visit of the high 
commissioner to the diamond-fields. — Replacement of the 
triumvirate by a single administrator. — Creation of an executive 
council. — Course of the correspondence between the high com- 
missioner and the president of the Free State.— Serious illness 
of President Brand. — Appointment of an executive committee 
to act during the president's illness. — Action of the volksraad. 
— Erection of Griqualand West into a crown colony. — Forma- 
tion of three electoral divisions.— Particulars concerning each 
of these divisions. — Form of the administration. — Creation of 
a legislative council. — Particulars concerning the franchise. — 
Names of the first members elected. — Change of Mr. Richard 
Southey's title from administrator to lieutenant-governor. — 
Measures for suppressing illicit diamond buying ^ ... 386 

A ' 

xvili Contents. 



Unpopularity of the new government. — Increased cost of obtaining 
diamonds. — Seizure of arms by the Orange Free State. — 
Action of Sir Henry Barkly regarding it. — Compliance under 
protest of the Free State government with the demand to 
surrender the arms. — Failure of the overture of the Free 
State to have a boundary decided upon and beaconed off. — 
Encounter between a Free State force and a party of Basuto. 
■ — Action of discontented men at the diamond-fields. — Despatch 
of a military force from Capetown to the diamond-fields. — 
Appointment of a commission to inquire into and register 
claims to land. — Failure of the commission to effect its 
object. — Passing of a land settlement ordinance. — Decision of 
the land court. — Retirement of Lieutenant-Governor Southey 
and appointment of Major Lanyon as administrator. — Mission 
of President Brand to England. — Settlement of the dispute with 
the Free State. — Passing by the Cape parliament of an act 
to annex Griqualand West. — Condition of the diamond-fields 
at the time. — ^Rebellion of the Griquas, Koranas, and Betshuana 
in the province. — General unrest of the southern Bantu. — 
Account of the expedition to Pokwane. — Account of the opera- 
tions against the insurgents in Griqualand West. — Relief of 
Kuruman by a force from Kimberlej^ — Close of the hostilities. 
— Expedition to the Batlapin and Batlaro country. — Retire- 
ment of Major Lanyon. — Proclamation of the act incor- 
porating Griqualand West in the Cape Colony 411 



Revolt of the clan of !Mapela in the district , of Zoutpansberg. — 
Suppression of the revolt. — Laws relating to the treatment of 
coloured people. — Alterations in some of the general laws. — 
Adoption of a coat of arms for the republic. — Ecclesiastical 
disputes. — Establishment of the Separatist Reformed church. — 
Attempt of Commandant Ja.n Kock to disturb the peace. — 
Overtures for the union of Lydenburg with the South African 

Contents, xix 

Bepublic. — Crea.tion of the district of Wakkerstroom. — Con- 
ditions under which the districts of Lydenburg and Utrecht 
became part of the South African Republic. — Selection of 
Pretoria as the seat of government. — Foundation of the village 
of Middelburg. — Discord throughout the country after the 
departure of Mr. Pretorius to become president of the Orange 
Free State. — Efforts of Vsj. S. Schoeman to obtain power and 
keep it. — E-esolute conduct of Mr. S. J. Paul Kruger. — Election 
of !Mr. Kruger as commandant -general. — Constant commotion 
and civil war. — Re-election of Mr. Pretorius as president. — • 
Effects of the long disturbances upon the public treasury and 
the reputation of the country abroad ... ... ... ... 434 



Effect of the anarchy in the South African Republic upon the 
coloured people. — Illicit traffic in guns and ammunition. — 
Employment of blacks as hunters. — Conduct of the Batlapin 
chief Mahtira. — Revolt of the clans of Mapok and Malewu in 
the district of Lydenburg. — Destruction of j^.Ialewu's clan by 
the Swazis. — Transactions with the Zulu tribe. — Spirit 
of Panda's government. — Cession by Panda of the district of 
Utrecht to a party of farmers. — Flight of Umtonga to 
Utrecht. — Negotiations with Ketshwayo leading to the 
surrender of Umtonga. — Cession of land by Ketshwayo and 
Panda. — Erection of beacons along the boundary by a 
joint co]nmission. — Flight of Umtonga to Natal. — Re- 
moval of the border beacons by Ketshwayo. — Pacific conduct 
of Panda. — Alarm caused by Ketshwayo' s movements. — 
Abuses in the system of apprenticeship of coloured children. — 
Cessation of ecclesiastical discord..; — Establishment of three 
distinct branches of the Dutch Reformed church in the 
republic. — Establishment of other Christian churches. — 
Commencement of mission work on a large scale by various 
societies. — Want of good schools. — Genera,l condition of the 
republic. — Scheme of colonisation proposed by Mr. McCorkin- 
dale. — Issue of paper money, commencing a public debt, — 
Insurrection of tribes in Zoutpansberg. — Inability of the 
government to send assistance to the burghers in lager there. 
— Influence upon Moshesh of the disturbances in the South 
African Repubhc , 454 

XX Contents, 



Description of the district of Zoutpansberg. — The Baramapulana 
tribe. — Other clans in Zoutpansberg. — Causes of enmity bet-vveen 
the Europeans and the blacks in Zoutpansberg. ^ — Description 
of the village of Schoemansdal. — Foundation of the mission 
station of Goedgedacht. — Feud between sons of Ramapulana. 
— Account of the Matshangana tribe. — Commencement of 
hostilities in Zoutpansberg. — Ineffectual efforts to raise a com- 
mando. — Financial condition of the republic. — Issue of paper 
money. — Progress of the war against the rebel clans. — 
Abandonment of Schoemansdal. — Attempt to raise a volunteer 
force under command of Stephanus Schoeman. — Distress of the 
European inhabitants of Zoutpansberg. — Fresh issue of paper 
money. — Conclusion of the war between the Europeans and 
the blacks. — Feuds of the clans. — Abandonment of the village 
of Potgieter's Rust on account of an outbreak of fever. — 
Agreement of peace and friendship between the South African 
Republic and the Basuto chief Moshesh. — Transactions between 
the South African Republic and the Zulu chiefs Panda and 
Ketshwayo. — Settlement of the boundary dispute between 
the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. — 
Re-election of ;^Ir. M. W. Pretorius as president. — Formation 
of the districts of Waterberg, Heidelberg, and Bloemhof. — 
Increased power given to the landdrosts. — Revenue and 
expenditure. — Public debt ... 473 


XIII. British Basutoland c facing page 330 

XIV. The two Republics , ... „ 384 


FROM 1T95 TO 18T2 



JULY 1860 TO 15th of august 1861. 

1861 TO 15th, OF JANUARY 1862. 

Though the second term of Sir George Grey's government of 
the Cape Colony was very short, covering only thirteen 
months, it was marked by some events of importance. It 
could not have been otherwise when a man of bis com- 
manding ability was at the head of affairs. Under the 
present system of government less depends upon the personal 
qualifications of the governor than upon those of the prime 
minister, but under the system in operation from 1854 to 
1872 the governor was the controller of the administration 
and the initiator of public measures of every kind. He was 
the brain, the highest officials were merely the hands. Most 
men, upon receiving such a stunning blow as had been dealt 
to Sir George Grey by the annulling of his magnificent plans 
for the unification, peace, and prosperity of the country, 
would have become nerveless and apathetic ; but his was a 
nature that could rise unharmed by the shock. Foiled in 
one direction, he could turn to another, and still strive 
earnestly and vigorously for the welfare of the community 
over which he was placed and of the great realm of which 
his immediate charge was but a tiny part. 

VOL. IV. ^ 

2 History of the Cape Colony. [i860 

It was at his suggestion that Prince Alfred, second son of 
her Majesty the queen, paid his first visit to South Africa. 
This was an event in which every one, white and black, 
took a keen interest, it being the first occasion on which a 
member of the royal family was seen in this part of the 
British dominions. The prince, then a midshipman in the 
steam frigate Eiiryahis, arrived in Simon's Bay on the 24th 
of July 1860, and in the afternoon of the next day reached 
Capetown, where every possible demonstration of welcome 
was made by the inhabitants as well as by the officials and 
the troops in the garrison. 

A short visit to Stellenbosch, the Paarl, and Drakenstein 
followed, with which the prince expressed himself greatly 
pleased, though at that season of the year, when the trees 
and vines are leafless, those localities are not seen at their 
best. The hearty reception which was accorded to the royal 
visitor was sufficient to show, if such proof had been 
wanting, that the Dutch speaking colonists were as 
thoroughly loyal to her Majesty the queen as any people 
not of English descent could possibly be. 

After this short tour in the oldest part of the colony the 
prince proceeded by sea to Port Elizabeth, and then, accom- 
panied by Sir George Grey and a suitable retinue, commenced 
a journey overland which ended at Port Natal. The route 
followed was eastward through Grahamstown, Fort Beaufort, 
and Alice, to King-Williamstown. Along this line there is 
in many places very grand scenery, and everywhere some- 
thing of interest can be observed. It passes through the 
heart of the territory that for three quarters of a century 
had been the battle ground of the white immigrants moving 
up from the west and the black immigrants moving down 
from the east, where no trace of the aboriginal inhabitants 
was left except their paintings on the rocks and their stone 
implements scattered about as they were lost or thrown 
away on the veld. Every hill and valley and little plain 
on that line, though then quiet and peaceful looking, had its 
story of battle or slaughter in the not very distant past. 

i86o] Sif George Gi^ey, - 3 

The prince, who was fond of hunting, had several oppor- 
tunities of shooting antelopes on the way. The nights were 
somewhat culd, but the days were mild and cloudless 
August is the pleasantest month for travelling in that part 
of South Africa, being usually almost rainless, and always 
free from excessive heat. 

From King-Williamstown the party turned to the north, 
but still continued through a country of ever varying and 
often grand scenery, where many warlike exploits could be 
recounted as having taken place. Windvogelberg was passed, 
the residence of the last Bushman who lived in the territory 
for a great distance around, and from whom the mountain 
has its name. Then Queenstown was reached and left 
behind, and keeping onward the party arrived at Bushman's 
Hoek, where the road wound up the face of the wall that 
bounds the interior plain. A steep road it was to climb, but 
from the top the view stretching over a vast expanse of 
country to the south amply repaid the travellers. 

They were now on the great plain drained by the Orange 
river and its branches, and for many days the scenery was 
dull and devoid of interest. They passed through Burghers- 
dorp, and kept on till Aliwal North was reached, nothing ol 
note occurring on the way. Here Moshesh with a large party 
of Basuto met the travellers, and the old chief testified his joy 
in approved Bantu manner by dancing or capering about in 
the road before the prince. He met with a reception that 
pleased him exceedingly, as indeed did many other Bantu 
chiefs during the long journey. It was highly desirable that 
they and their followers, whether subjects of her Majesty or 
independent, should be gratified as much as possible, and for 
Prince Alfred it was no eifort to make himself afi'able to all. On 
the way between Fort Beaufort and Burghersdorp he had 
visited the missionary institutions at Healdtown, Lovedale. 
and Lesseyton, and expressed a warm interest in the efibrts 
being made for the advancement of the coloured people. 

At Aliwal North the party crossed the Orange river and 
entered the Free State. It did not seem to Prince Alfred or 

4 History of the Cape Colony, [i860 

to Sir George Grey, however, that they were in a foreio^n 
country, for the people they met and by whom they were 
warmly welcomed differed in no respect whatever from those 
living in the British colony they had left behind. Tliere 
were many English speakers among them too, who took care 
to remind their visitors that they had been abandoned by 
Great Britain very much against their own will. The party 
passed through Smithfield, and went on to Bloemfontein, the 
seat of government. 

A grand hunt had been arranged to take place at Hartebeest 
Hoek, a farm belonging to Mr. Andrew Bain, about five miles 
or eight kilometres from Bloemfontein. At that time, although 
vast numbers of all kinds of wild animals native to the country 
had been destroyed for the sake of their flesh or their skins, 
or in mere wantonness, an immense number still remained. 
Moroko's Barolong had been engaged for some days in 
driving game, and by the time the prince arrived it was 
estimated that from twenty to thirty thousand large animals 
— white tailed gnus, Burchell's zebras, hartebeests, blesboks, 
bonteboks, springboks, ostriches, &c. — had been collected 
together in a small area. No European prince had ever seen 
such a number and variety of wild animals in one spot before, 
and no one will ever have such a sight in South Africa again, 
for they have nearly all been shot down years ago or have 
died of imported diseases. The day of the grand hunt was 
the most exciting one in the journey, although much game 
had been previously seen and shot. 

From Bloemfontein the journey was continued northward 
to Winburg, where President Pretorius, who was returning 
from a visit to the Transvaal, met the party and had an 
interview with the prince and Sir George Grey. The course 
here turned to the east, and lay through Harrismith to Van 
Reenen's pass in the Drakensberg, where the great plain was 
left behind, and the party was once more in the midst of 
wild and grand mountain scenery. 

The travellers now entered the colony of Natal, but were 
still at a great height above the level of the sea. They passed 

i86o] Sir George Grey. 5 

down through the village of Colenso, and went on to 
Maritzburg, visiting the falls of the Umgeni on the way. Then 
the route lay through Pinetown to Durban, where the long 
land journey ended. At every place of the slightest im- 
portance along this extensive line there were enthusiastic 
assemblages of people, gaily decorated arches, illuminations, 
bonfires, and festivities, while escorts of volunteers attended 
from town to town. 

At Durban the Euryalus was waiting, and on board were 
the Gaika chief Sandile, the reverend Tiyo Soga, and Mr. 
Charles Brownlee, who had been invited to accompany the 
prince to Capetown and had been taken in on her passage 
up the coast. It was supposed that Sandile would be impressed 
with a sense of awe on seeing the working of a ship of war, 
but he did not give himself the trouble to think at all about 
the matter, and took no more interest in the ship and her 
engines than a little child would have done. He understood, 
however, the cause of the marks of respect paid by everyone 
to the prince, and realised from what he saw that somewhere 
over the water there was a real living sovereign of great 
power, which he had previously believed to be somewhat 

Having proceeded to Simon's Bay, the prince landed again, 
and on the 17th of September tilted the first load of stones 
in the great breakwater in Table Bay. On the following 
day he laid the foundation stone of the Sailors' Home in 
Capetown, — which was opened for use on the 25th of April 
1862, — and inaugurated the South African public library in 
its fine new building beside the main avenue of the gardens. 
This was Prince Alfred's last public act during his first and 
most memorable visit, and on the 19th of September he 
embarked in the Euryalus and sailed for England. 

The people of Port Frances had been anxious that the 
queen's son should inaugurate the construction of a new sea 
wall at that place, and they also wished to give his name 
to the mouth of the river, with a view of bringing the 
harbour into greater prominence. Through pressure of time 

6 History of the Cape Colony. [i^6i 

the prince was unable to comply with their desires, bat he 
deputed Captain Tarleton, of the Euryalus, to represent him 
in driving the first pile of the new pier. This was done on 
the 20th of August 1860, when Port Frances was renamed 
Port Alfred, a designation by which it has ever since been 

Before 1861 the weights and measures generally used in 
the colony were those introduced by the Dutch East India 
Company, though many of the English settlers bought and 
sold according to those of Great Britain. This double system 
often caused much confusion in accounts. In the same 
village, for instance, one shopkeeper would sell calico by the 
ell of twenty-seven Rhynland inches, and another by the 
yard of thirty-six English inches, the inch itself being 
slightly shorter in the latter case. It was evident that 
uniformity would be advantageous, and it was equally so 
that the same weights and measures should be used in the 
Cape Colony as in every other part of the queen's dominions. 
The decimal system, which is now coming into favour on 
account of its simplicity and the necessity of employing it in 
dealing with foreigners, had then no advocates, as oversea 
commerce was almost confined to Great Britain. It was 
therefore enacted that English weights and measures should 
alone be legal after the 1st of January 1861, and since that 
date they have been exclusively used, with the single excep- 
tion of the land measure. To have changed that in the 
oldest settled districts would have introduced much con- 
fusion, and hence the morgen was retained in those parts of 
the colony. 

The land measure, however, was not perfectly uniform in 
all the grants that had been made since 1657. There was no 
standard in the colony in the early days by which to rectify 
a surveyor's chain, and the other instruments employed were 
far from beings as delicate as those now in use. Land was 
of so little value in those times, even in Capetown, that an 
absolutely accurate survey was not considered indispensable, 
and the work was performed in the crudest manner and in 

i86r] Sir George Grey, 7 

the shortest possible time. The unit of measurement was 
supposed to be the Rhynland foot, but resurveys during 
recent years have shown that in general the measure actually 
employed was a little longer. Thus the oldest diagrams 
seldom agree with the extent of ground mentioned in the 
title deeds. Undisputed possession for thirty years, however, 
fixed the boundaries permanently, so that disputes and 
lawsuits were avoided. 

The session of parliament which was opened by the 
governor on the 26th of April 1861 was a memorable one. 
The desire of a large majority of the English speaking 
colonists in the eastern districts for the establishment of a 
separate and distinct government had not abated, and at this 
time the question was the most prominent one in the politics 
of the country. An association termed the separation league 
was formed, with branches in all the important towns and 
villages of the east, meetings were held wherever people 
could be got together, and addresses were delivered by the 
leading English politicians in favour of the measure. The 
principal newspapers also lent their powerful aid, and 
pamphlets were published and widely distributed. By these 
means about six thousand signatures to petitions for separa- 
tion were obtained, and the documents were laid before both 
houses of parliament. In opposition, petitions representing 
not more than one thousand individuals were presented, 
but none were sent in on either side from the western 

A bill w^as drafted to provide for the separation of the 
eastern province and its establishment as a distinct colony 
from the west, and on the 16th of May Mr. William Matthew 
Harries moved, and Mr. Richard Joseph Painter seconded, its 
first reading in the house of assembly, which took place 
accordingly. On the 27th of the same month practically the 
same measure was brought forward in the legislative council 
by Messrs. Henry Tucker and Charles Pote. 

On the 7th of June the second reading was proposed and 
seconded in the house of assembly, when an animated debate 

8 History of the Cape Colony. [1861 

commenced, which was continued during prolonored sittinors on 
that day, the 8th, 10th, and 11th, dorinor which excitement 
was high not only in parliament, but everywhere in the 
community. On one side the question was felt to be the 
existence of a single strong colony or the substitution of two 
weak ones, each burdened with the cost of a complete 
government ; on the other the freedom of the eastern section 
from the injustice in the distribution of public favours and 
the restraints imposed upon it by the west. The debate was 
by far the most important event of the session. 

The arguments used by the advocates of the measure were 
to the effect that the eastern districts were making much more 
rapid strides in material prosperity than the western, but 
that their interests received much less consideration from 
parliament. Their public works were neglected, their rivers 
were unbridged, and their roads were well - nigh impassable, 
while in the west they were all attended to, and even a great 
breakwater was being constructed in Table Bay which might 
prove useless. The public debt was then £564,000, of which 
£400,000 had been borrowed for improvements in the 
west and only £164,000 for similar purposes in the east, 
though they had to pay half of the interest. Even in the 
matter of compensation for losses by Kaffir raiders they could 
get nothing ; but a western man with claims less strong was 
awarded payment for damages sustained. The old argument 
as to the necessity of a strong government near the frontier 
to deal with the Xosas and Tembus had lost much of its 
force since 1857, but it was not altogether forgotten, and an 
endeavour was made to show that those tribes were rapidly 
recovering their former strength and might soon become 
formidable again. And finally the great distance from 
Capetown at which the members for the eastern districts 
lived prevented them from attending parliament throughout 
long sessions as the western members could easily do, so that 
they were often in a helpless minority when measures of 
the greatest importance to them were brought forward and 
disposed of. 

iS6t] Sir George Grey. 9 

On the ottier sid^, most of these assertions were disputerl, 
and the excess of expenditure in the west was asserted to be 
caused by the principal officials being necessarily stationed 
at the seat of oovernment. In the matter of public works, 
roads, and bridges, it was unreasonable to compare newly 
settled di-tiicts with others long inhabited, and it was 
claimed that the east was rather favoured than neglected 
in this matter. In other respects, if separation were to take 
place and Grahamstown or Uitenhage were to become the seat 
of government of the eastern province, the people of some 
of the districts in that province would have much greater 
reason to be discontented than the advocates of the measure 
were then. 

At the close of the debate on the fourth day the bill was 
rejected by a majority of seven votes, those in favour of it 
being Messrs. Aspeling, Botman, R. M. Bowker, T. H. Bovv^ker, 
Brand, Cawood, Clough, Darnell, Franklin, Harries, Painter, 
Scanlen, Slater, Stanton, and Stretch ; and those opposed to 
it Messrs. Biake, Bosman, Van der Byl, Duckitt, Fairbairn, 
Haupt, Hopley, Kotze, Louw, Manuel, Munnik, Prince, 
Proctor, Silberbauer, Solomon, Le Sueur, Theunissen, Walter, 
F. Watermeyer, P. Watermeyer, White, and Ziervogel. 

In the legislative council the measure met with the same fate. 

Foiled in this, the same eastern members then endeavoured 
to carry a measure in favour of the removal of the seat of 
government, but met with no better success. In this question 
the members of the party were divided among themselves, 
some favouring Uitenhage, others Grahamstown, as the capital 
It has often been observed that the Dutch speaking colonists 
can unite readily in the preliminary stages of a great 
movement, but that when an important measure reaches its 
last stage, they are certain to quarrel and range themselves on 
different sides. The observation is correct, as the history of 
the colony has constantly shown. But this feature of 
character is not peculiar to them, for here were the English 
speaking colonists of the east, practically all of whom were 
desirous of removal of the seat of government, so influenced 

10 History of the Cape Colony, \}Z^\ 

by local jealousy that they were ranged on different sides 
upon the most important point in the whole question. 

Finally, more in the way of pretending that they did not 
accept their defeat as final than in expectation of meeting with 
success, three members of the legislative council and thirteen of 
the house of assembly addressed a petition to the queen, 
praying that her Majesty would separate the provinces as had 
been done in two instances in Australia. This, of course, aa 
coming from such a small minority in parliament, also proved a 

During this session, which lasted from the 26th of April to 
the 13th of August, one hundred and ten days, various public 
works were provided for. The board of commissioners for 
Table Bay was empowered to commence the construction of 
a dock, according to a plan furnished by the eminent marine 
engineer Sir John Coode. This was almost as necessary as 
the breakwater itself to facilitate the loading and unloading of 
ships, and ensure their safety. It was enormously expensive, 
us it had to be excavated in rock along the shore to a depth 
of seventy English feet, or 21 "S^ metres, a large portion of the 
sides had then to be faced with blocks of granite, and an 
opening to the bay to be made just within the breakwater. 
The length of the dock thus excavated was to be eleven 
hundred feet, or 335 28 metres, and the area of the sheet of 
water enclosed by its walls was to be ten English acres. The 
want of good natural harbours has always been a drawback 
to the prosperity of South Africa, and must always remain so, 
because the charges on shipping to make good the interest 
on the cost and maintenance of such an expensive artificial 
harbour as that of Table Bay must necessarily be very high. 
But in the condition of the country such a work was urgently 
needed, and it has since proved of the utmost advantage. 
Nearly nine years were needed for the construction of the 
dock, which was opened for use on the 17th of May 1870. 

Provision was also made for the construction of a light- 
house on Robben Island. This useful work took over three 
years to carry out, for it was not until the 1st of January 

i86i] Sir Geoj'gs Grey, 1 1 

1865 that the light was exhibited. A lighthouse in Simon's 
Bay, to replace the old lightship, had already been con- 
structed, and was opened for use on the 16th of September 

The Wynberg Railway Company was incorporated, with 
a capital of £100,000 in ten thousand shares. Its object was 
to construct a line of railway to Wynberg from the station 
at Salt River on the Capetown and Wellington line. The 
first sod was turned on the 14th of August 1862, and the 
line was opened for traflBc on the 19th of December 1864. 
It was then leased to the Capetown Railway and Dock 
Company, that owned the section between Capetown and 
Salt River, so that its working could be carried on without 
hindrance or difficulty. 

An act was also passed for the construction by the Cape 
of Good Hope Telegraph Company of a line of electric 
telegraph from Capetown to Grahamstown. A subsidy of 
£1,500 a year was to be paid to the Company for fifteen 
years, for which government messages were to be sent free. 
The first section of this line that was constructed was 
between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth, which was 
opened for use on the 2nd of January 1862. Two years 
more were needed to complete the line between Port 
Elizabeth and Capetown, which was opened on the 8th of 
January 1864 It was then carried onward from Grahams- 
town to King-Williamstown, which section was completed 
and opened for use on the 1st of October 1864. A military 
line had been constructed between King-Williamstown and 
East London, which was opened for use in January 1861, so 
that after October 1864 the eastern border of Kafifraria was 
in direct communication with Capetown. The length of the 
entire line was then about seven hundred and fifty miles or 
twelve hundred kilometres. 

A line, chiefly for the use of the naval establishment, had 
previously been constructed between Capetown and Simons- 
town, and was completed in April 1860. Along the 
Wellington railway, as it advanced, telegraph wires were 

12 History of the Cape Colony. [1861 

Decessarily extended ; but for several years after 1864 the 
colony was unable to afford any other lines than those 

An account of the introduction of Angora goats into the 
colony has already been given, but as it was at this time 
that the production of mohair first became a really important 
industry, some further reference to the subject seems 
requisite. Various farmers acquired some of the progeny of 
the he-goat belonging to Mr. Hendrik Vos and of those 
belonging to Mr. Korsten, and by several of them much 
care was bestowed upon the animals. Still the strain of the 
common goat was so strong that the hair was shorter and 
coarser than that of the pure breed, though it was sold for 
eight pence a pound or Is. 5fd. a kilogramme, in England, 
where it attracted considerable attention. Manufacturers 
there gave assurances of a much higher price for a better 
article, but for twenty years it was found impossible to 
procure thoroughbred goats to breed from. When, however, 
sea voyages were much reduced in length by the use of 
steamships, there was a better chance of success, as the loss 
by death on the way to the Cape would be greatly 
diminished. Mr. Julius Mosenthal, a merchant in Port 
Elizabeth, then resolved to attempt again to introduce some 
pure stock. 

For this purpose Mr. Adolph Mosenthal proceeded to Asia 
Minor, where with the assistance of Lord Stratford de Red- 
clyffe he succeeded in obtaining a number of the purest and 
best of the animals required. These were shipped at a port 
in the Black sea, and sent by way of the Mediterranean to 
England, where they were kept some time to recover 
strength. They were then forwarded to the colony, where 
thirty of them arrived in the summer of 1856. The choicest 
of these animals were sold to different farmers at a price of 
from £80 to £90 each, and after a few seasons the number 
so increased that the production of mohair of superior quality 
btcame one of the established industries of the colony. At 
a later date other merchants followed the example of Mr. 


6i] Sir George Grey. 13 

Mosentbal, notably Messrs. Blaine & Co., of Port Elizabeth, 
and introduced pure bred animals from Asia Minor, which 
were shipped at Constantinople, so that the stock was prevented 
from deterioratinsj. 

While parliament was in session in 1861 intelligence was 
received from Enojland that Sir George Grey had been 
appointed again governor of New Zealand, where the 
presence of a man of the highest ability and tact in dealing 
with inferior races was urgently needed, owing to the war 
with the Maories. The members of both houses and the 
people of South Africa, white and black alike, regarded his 
presence here as equally necessary, and just at this time an 
event took place in Zululand which seemed to confirm their 

Ever since the defeat and destruction of Umbulazi and his 
adherents, Ketshwayo had been the actual ruler of the 
Zulus, though his father Panda was still the nominal head. 
The country was in a state of unrest, for many of the tribe 
were at heart opposed to Ketshwayo, though they were 
unable to unite and openly resist him. Such a condition of 
things was a menace to the peace of Natal. In that colony 
two sons of Panda bad taken refuge, who were mere boys, 
but whose lives would be in danger in their own country, 
as they were of the faction of Umbulazi. Refugees were 
continually coming over to them, who reported that the old 
chief Panda was in favour of a division of the tribe among 
several of his sons, in preference to the sole rule of 
Ketshwayo. Sir George Grey, as high commissioner, was in 
favour of this as a plan of settlement, if it could be done 
w^ith the full consent of the people and of the old chief, and 
especially if some agreement could be entered into for the 
greater security of human life in Zululand. 

Lieutenant-Governor Scott, of Natal, however, believed that 
opposition to Ketshw^ayo, whether direct or indirect, would 
be fruitless, and in April 1861 he sent Mr. Theophilus 
Shepstone to Zululand to acknowledge that chief as his 
father's heir in the name of the colonial government. In 

14 History of the Cape Colony, [1861 

this way he thought the constant unrest might be brought to 
an end and the attachment of Ketshvvayo be secured. 

Mr. Shepstone proceeded on bis mission, and found Panda 
at first indisposed to admit Ketshwayo's claims, but still 
more indisposed, and indeed physically unfit, to take an 
active part in any matter. After a little conversation he 
became weary, and then, to avoid further trouble, promised 
to agree to whatever Mr. Shepstone should decide upon 

Regiments mustering in all from fourteen to fifteen 
thousand soldiers were then summoned, and on the 16th of 
May, with great ceremony, in presence of Panda and Mr. 
Shepstone, heralds proclaimed Ketshwayo the lawful heir of 
his father, recognised as such by the Natal government. But 
then something which the Natal government had not 
anticipated took place. The same heralds presented them- 
selves before Mr. Shepstone, and asked in a tone of demand 
that the two boys in Natal and the mother of one of them 
should be surrendered to their legitimate chief. Mr. Shep- 
stone replied that the white man's government could not, and 
would not, do such a thing, upon which there was much 
clamour, and some offensive remarks were made, though the 
envoy was never in any personal danger. 

Mr. Shepstone returned to Maritzburg, and it was recognised 
at once that the plan adopted in hope of securing quietness 
had been a failure. Then in July came word that Ketshwayo 
was massing his troops on the border, and a panic among 
the colonists took place. The wing of the 85th regiment then 
in garrison, with the few Cape mounted riflemen and artillery- 
men in the colony, were immediately sent to guard the fords 
of the Tugela, all the volunteers were called out to assist, the 
open country was abandoned, and a despatch was sent with 
all possible haste to the high commissioner urging him to 
send immediate aid. 

Sir George Grey acted with his customary promptitude. 
The 59th regiment was then under orders to return to England 
as soon as the second battalion of the 11th should arrive 

i86i] Sir George Grey. 1.5 

io relieve it. There were no other troops of the line in the 
Cape peninsula, but these were embarked in her Majesty's 
steam frigate Narcissus, which happened to be at hand, 
with so much promptitude that they landed at Durban on the 
3id of August. A naval brigade of three hundred and fifty 
men was there almost as quickly. The Capetown volunteers 
mounted guard in the castle and forts until September, when 
the second battalion of the 11th arrived from England and 
relieved them of the duty. 

Under these circumstances both houses of parliament pre- 
sented an address to Sir George Grey, urging him to remain 
until the danger was over or the arrival of his successor, but 
this he felt himself under the necessity of declining. Then, 
to the relief of everyone, after a few days came intelligence 
from Natal that Ketshwayo had withdrawn his regiments 
from the border, declaring that they had only been sent 
there on a big hunting excursion, and that nothing was more 
remote from his mind than hostilities with his white neigh- 
bours. He had been practising, in fact, an experiment 
common among the Bantu, of trying how far he could go 
without actually committing himself. But for the colonists 
in Natal such an experiment was very annoying, and if they 
had been sufficiently strong it would certainly have been 
resented in such a manner as to prevent its repetition. 

By October everything was quiet again, and the 59th 
regiment embarked for England. The naval brigade had 
already returned to their ships, and the volunteers to their 
ordinary occupations. 

No other governor has ever done so much to promote the 
education of youth in South Africa as Sir George Grey. 
The missionary institutions at Lovedale, Healdtown, Lessey- 
ton, and Zonnebloem, though founded and supported by 
different religious bodies, could never have grown to be as 
useful as they became if it had not been for his encourage- 
ment and liberal assistance. The Grey Institute at Port 
Elizabeth, founded in accordance with plans drawn up by 
him, still perpetuates his name. By the act of parliament 

1 6 History of the Cape Colony, [1861 

No. 6 of 1856 it was placed under the management of a 
board consisting of the civil commissioner of the division as 
chairman, the commissioners of the municipality, and an 
equal number of members elected by subscribers to the funds 
or persons paying fees of a certain amount. The institute 
was then liberally endowed with land, which could be sold 
or leased according to circumstances. It consisted at first 
of a collegiate school and two preparatory schools. 

The Grey College at Bloemfontein, which he planned and 
really founded, also perpetuate* his name. It was then in 
the capital of a state discarded by Great Britain, but in 
whose welfare the broad minded governor took the keenest 
interest. With its people he felt the warmest sympathy, he 
regretted to the end of his life that they had been thrown 
away, and he never ceased to hold them in the highest 
respect. Forty years later, when his physical strength was 
gone but his mind was still as active as ever, he could say 
of them : " I have lived among many nations and in many 
countries, and I may with all truth say this, that I know no 
people richer in public and in private virtues than the 
Boers." * 

In founding the college at Bloemfontein his object was to 
show that the British government still took an interest in 
the welfare of the people by " the establishment of an 
institution where the opportunity would be presented of en- 
joying education in all those branches of knowledge b}^- which 
the youth of the Free State would be qualified for occupying 
with credit official positions in the state, or for attending 
European universities with advantage." For this purpose he 
contributed, in 1856, from the imperial funds at his disposal 
£3,000 to be invested by trustees appointed by the sjmod 
of the Dutch reformed church in the state, the interest to 
be applied towards the salary of the rector, and £200 
towards the cost of putting up a suitable building. The 
cost of the roof of the building he contributed from his own 

* From *' An Interview with the Right Hon. Sir George Grey, 
K.C.B.," in the Humanitarian of April 1898. 

iS6i] Sir George Grey, 17 

means. The synod accepted the charge, and chose as the 
first trustees President Bosbof, the reverend Andrew Murray, 
then minister of Bloemfontein, and Mr. D. Griessel. Addi- 
^onal funds were raised and the college was established, but 
could make very little progress before 1872, owing to the 
difficulties in which the republic was involved. Since 1872 
it has been one of the leading educational institutions in 
South Africa, thus fulfilling the design of its founder. 

The same feelinor led him to encourao^e the effort that was 
made by the Dutch reformed church in the colony to estab- 
lish a seminary for the training of young men for the 
ministry. For many years this project had been discussed, 
but it could never before be carried into execution. After 
the middle of the century young South Africans who were 
/Sent to Holland to be educated often returned with rational- 
istic views, so that the orthodox colonists considered the 
rhurch to be in danger, and were anxious to have an insti- 
tution of their own where the evangelical doctrine as 
condensed in the Heidelberg catechism should be professed 
and tauofht. In 1859 their wishes were carried into execution 
by the establishment of a theological seminary at Stellen- 
bosch, which was opened on the 1st of November of that 
year, and has been in full working order ever since. 

Sir George Grey wished to place British and colonial 
settlers on the vacant ground between the Cape Colony and 
Natal, which would have greatly strengthened the European 
element in South Africa and have been of advantage to the 
Bantu in the occupied portions. Strife between the various 
tribes there was constant, and nothing but English 
sovereignty supported by a strong body of white men close 
at hand could put an end to it. As long as it lasted no 
advance towards civilisation could be made by the people. 
To give to Europeans the ground between the Kei and the 
Bashee and that on the terrace at the base of the Drakensberg 
would not be doing a wrong to any one, and would iuiprove 
the position of a great many. If it was annexed to British 
Kaffraria, a strong colony would be formed, capable of 

VOL. r7. g 

1 8 History of the Cape Colony, \\%^\ 

supporting its own government without aid from the 
imperial treasury,* and permanent peace would be secured. 
Over the three colonies of the Cape, British KafFraria, and 
Natal, there might then be a federal government having 
control in such matters as the system to be applied to the 
Bantu, the armed forces required for the preservation of 
order, the postal service, and the customs tariff, but leaving 
all other questions to the provincial legislatures. 

There are few men to-day who will dispute the wisdom 
of such a measure or the facility with which it could have 
been cariied out at that time. But in England a very large 
party, including statesmen of the highest intellect and the 
purest patriotism, were averse to any extension of the British 
dominions. They feared to incur increased responsibilities, 
lest the burden upon the taxpayers should become too heavy 
to be borne. In their opinion it would be far better to 
develop the existing possessions than to enlarge them. Their 
views are entitled to respect, though they are not those held 
since the general scramble for foreign dependencies by the 
leading nations of Europe has proved that an opportunity 
neglected is an opportunity lost for ever. 

The high commissioner was therefore unable to carry out 
this plan for the benefit of South Africa. He was permitted 
to assign a portion of the upper plateau to Adam Kok and 
his Griquas, as will be related in another chapter, but not an 
acre to a white man, and responsibility for the protection of 
those Griquas or the enforcement of order among them by 
the British government was distinctly ignored. 

On the 15th of August 1861 Sir George Grey embarked in 
her Majesty's steamship Cossack, and left South Africa for 

* The revenue of British Kaffraria derived from Europeans was already 
sufficient to meet the expenditure on their account. It was to cover the 
cost of governing the Bantu that the imperial treasury was obliged to 
contribute, as is shown in the following return prepared by the lieutenant- 
governor. Population in 1861 : Europeans 6,705, Bantu 74,648. Revenue 
during the year: contributed by Europeans £19,949 10s. lie?., by blacks 
£4,758 5s. Expenditure: on account of Europeans £18,623 18s. 4d, on 
account of blacks £11,352 lis. 9d, on convicts £3,386 8s. ^d. Exports 
through East London of wool, hides, and grain to the value of £21,540. 

i86i] Sir George Grey. 19 

New Zealand. Before him many able men had from time to 
time governed the Cape Colony, but never one who so 
entirely enjoyed the confidence of every section of the 
community, white and black. In this respect he stood 
above even Sir Benjamin D'Urban and Sir Harry Smith, 
both of whom were opposed by little cliques. He had the 
power that only the greatest men possess, of reconciling and 
bringing together bodies of people of conflicting views and 
interests, and leading them on together in the same path of 
progress. The old colonists who spoke Dutch regarded him 
as highly as the new colonists who spoke English, and both 
were equalled in this respect by the swarthy-skinned colonists 
who spoke different dialects of a language common to the 
Bantu race. All recognised his great ability, his interest in 
their welfare, the wisdom of the plans he had formed for the 
good of South Africa. And to-day who is there that does 
not admit that if the imperial government had permitted 
those plans to be carried out, a vast amount of blood and 
treasure would have been saved to the mother country as well 
as to South Africa, and instead of the feeling of distrust 
that now exists between sections of the colonists there would 
be perfect harmony and good will ? 

Sir George Gre}^ was a lover of books, and had spent all 
the money he could spare during his life in adding to two 
superb collections which he had inherited. In these were 
many exceedingly rare volumes, ancient illuminated religious 
books, and works of permanent interest in many departments 
of knowledge. To these he had added a great number of 
unpublished manuscripts, particularly upon subjects connected 
with Polynesian and Bantu customs and languages. The 
value in money of the whole was about £30,000. 

On the 21st of October 1861 he wrote from Auckland to 
Judge Watermeyer in Capetown, announcing the presen- 
tation of this collection of books and manuscripts to the 
South African Public Library. Two cases of manuscripts 
accompanied the letter ; the books, which were then in 
England, would be sent out speedily. Eight trustees were 

20 History of the Cape Colony, [1861 

appointed to receive them, and to carry out the donor's 
intentions. The}^ were Mr. Justice Watermeyer, the attorney- 
general Mr. William Porter, the astronomer royal Sir Thomas 
Maclear, Advocate Johannes de Wet, and Messrs. John 
Fairbairn, Charles Aiken Fairbridge, W. Tasker Smith, and 
William Hiddingh. 

No presentation of equal value had ever been made to 
the colony before, the Dessinian collection being inferior in 
every respect. In January 1862 the books, about five 
thousand in number, began to arrive. They were placed in 
a room by themselves, which has since been made fireproof, 
and when all were received and arranged, on the 23rd of 
April 18(j4 this section of the public library was opened for 
the use of students. The eminent philologist Dr. W. Bleek 
was appointed first custodian of the collection. 

In front of the main entrance of the library building, 
facing the botanic garden, stands a statue of Sir George 
Grey, erected by the colonists in grateful remembrance of 
his splendid gift. The statue was unveiled on the 10th of 
November 1864. 

After the departure of Sir George Grey, Lieutenant- 
General Wynyard acted as administrator until the 15th of 
January 1862, when the newly appointed governor and high 
commissioner, Philip Edmond Wodehouse, Esquire, arrived 
from England in the mail steamer Cambrian and took the 
oaths of office. 


RETIRED 20th OF MAY 1870. 

It would have been diflBcult for a very able man to fill 
the place in public estimation that Sir George Grey had 
occupied, and the new governor had no claim to ability 
of any other kind than that of a conscientious plodding- 
official. He would have made an admirable head of a 
department to carry out routitie duties, but he was in- 
capable of initiating any new measure of magnitude that 
would be really useful. He had commenced official life at 
the early age of seventeen years as a writer in the Ceylon 
civil service, and had risen to be an assistant judge at 
Kandy and subsequently to have charge of an extensive 
district. After more than twenty years nervine in Ceylon, 
he was appointed superintendent of British Honduras, and 
in 1854 was promoted to be governo' of British Guiana. 
There he had succeeded fairly well, because he had no 
representative institutions to deal with, and he was 
autocratic by nature as well as by training. He had 
not the charm of manner of his distin£:uishe<i predecessor, 
and was therefore unable to exercise any iriiuenf'e over 
the Cape parliament or to acquire the affection of the Cape 

Added to this, at the beginning of his term of office a 
series of bad seasons caused bv severe <j"ou:r^^t set in, so 
that agricultural operations failed ail Ovcr the country, 
the live stock in many places was greatly reduced by 


2 2 History of the Cape Colony. [1862 

starvation, and commercial depression followed as a matter 
of course. At the same time the imperial government 
reduced its grant in aid of the Kaffrarian revenue and 
y)ressed for a contribution from the Cape Colony towards 
the maintenance of the troops, so that the financial condition 
of the country was cheerless. Poverty breeds discontent, 
and discontent leads to fault-finding with the governing 
powers, so that the measures of Sir Philip Wodehouse 
underwent sharper criticism than they would have done in 
prosperous times. 

Immiorrants from Great Britain were still arrivinof under 
the system described in a previous chapter. On the 6th 
of February 1862 the Matilda Atheling arrived in Algoa 
Bay with two hundred and sixty-nine, on the 10th of 
March the John Vanner brought two hundred and thirty- 
eight to Capetown, and on the 9th of June the Adelaide 
brought two hundred and sixty to Port Elizabeth. These 
were the last to come out. In this year £15,000 was voted 
by parliament to introduce farm labourers, and £6 was 
ofi'ered towards the cost of passage of every artisan, but 
farm labourers were not to be obtained, and the accounts 
of the condition of the colony which reached England 
prevented mechanics from trying their fortunes here. 
Government aid was then withdrawn, and presently, as the 
depression in all branches of industry increased, a tide of 
emigration began to set out. Many hundreds of those who 
had been brought to South Africa at the public expense, 
finding that the expectations they had entertained with 
regard to this country were not likely to be realised, 
removed to New Zealand and the United States. 

The number that had been brouoht out during the last few 
years was in reality greater than the colony could absorb, 
and the same selection that had often before taken place 
came into operation again. In early da3^s those who were 
unfit to make a living in the country were sent away by 
the government, in this case they left of their own accord. 
In general, the frugal and persevering among them, those 

1862] Philip Edmond Wodehouse^ Esqre 23 

who were capable of turning their attention to a new 
occupation when the one they had been engaged in failed, 
those who were willing to undergo some privation for a time 
in the determination to succeed in the end, remained in the 
country ; those who were unwilling to live in any other way 
than they had been accustomed to in England, and who were 
disappointed when they found that money was only to be 
obtained by industry or mental ability, went elsewhere to 
look for it. 

From Germany and Holland for several years immigrants 
had been arriving, and these remained in the country. The 
Germans were all farm labourers, sent out by Messrs. 
Godeffroy from Hamburg to applicants for their services 
who entered into formal engagements with Mr. William 
Berg, of Capetown, to employ them for at least two years 
at a fixed rate of wages and to pay £12 for the passage of 
each statute adult upon his or her arrival. Since 1858 about 
three hundred had been introduced every year, and this 
number was now reduced to one hundred and twenty. 
These German immigrants, being thrifty and laborious in 
a very high degree, managed to improve their circumstances 
rapidly in the colony, notwithstanding the severe depression. 
The Hollanders migrated without previous engagements, but 
they too managed by frugality to better their condition. 
About one hundred and thirty arrived in 1862 from 

On the 24th of April, when parliament met, the governor 
in his opening speech declared himself opposed to the 
separation of the two provinces, to federation, or the 
removal of the seat of government. He was in favour of 
holding the sessions alternately in Capetown and Grahams- 
town, and of annexing British KafFraria to the Cape Colony. 
He wished to relieve the chief justice from the duty of 
presiding in the legislative council, and to permit that house 
to elect its own president, to increase the number of puisne 
judges to four, and to establish a court in the eastern 
districts to consist of two of these judges and to have a 

24 History of the Cape Colony, [1862 

solicitor general attached to it. He was also in favour of 
stationinof an asfent with the Basuto chief Moshesh. 

The statement with regard to the annexation of British 
KafFraria caused much dissatisfaction to the majority of 
the European residents in that province. They desired to 
remain a distinct colony, and declared their fear that war 
with the Xosas and Tembus would be the result of the loss 
of a local administration. They wished the vacant territory 
between the Kei and the Bashee to be given out to European 
farmers and to be added to the province, when the revenue 
would be sufficient, they believed, to maintain an effective 
government with a representative council. 

Five days after the opening of parliament the governor 
left Capetown in the steam frigate Cossack, and proceeded 
to East London to make himself acquainted with the con- 
dition of affairs in British Kaffraria. After landing he 
went first to Butterworth, where he learned from the special 
mao'istrate Mr. W. B. Chalmers and the officers of the frontier 
mounted police the state of the vacant territory and the 
attitude of the Kaffir tribes beyond, after which he rode 
hastily to King-Williamstown, and on the 5th of May had 
a conference with the leading men of the province. He 
informed them that he had been obliged to stop all public 
works, as the revenue was insufficient to cover the expense, 
and that in his opinion annexation to the Cape Colony 
was the most expedient measure that could be adopted, for 
the imperial government would not continue to make good 
the deficiency. They urged their objections to annexation, 
expressed their hope that the imperial government would 
continue to protect them, and would not be convinced by 
the arguments that he used. He then assured them that 
annexation would not be forced upon them against their 
consent, and with this promise they withdrew satisfied. 

The governor proceeded next to Grahamstown, but he was 
in such haste that his visit was a very short one, and on the 
17th of May he embarked at Port Elizabeth in the Cossack 
to return to Capetown. In less than three weeks he made 

1862] Philip Edinond Wodehouse, Esqre. 25 

the journey to Butterworth and back, and acquired, as he 
believed, a perfect knowledge of affairs on the eastern 

Before the governor left England, the duke of Newcastle, 
then ^«4ecretary of state for the colonies, had given him 
permission to allot the vacant land between the Kei and the 
Bashee to European settlers, if that could be done without 
stationing British troops in it for their protection, but any 
increase of military expenditure was carefully to be avoided. 
The governor now considered that this condition prevented 
him from giving out the land while British Kaffraria 
remained a separate province. It was guarded by the 
frontier armed and mounted police, who were paid by the 
Cape Colony, and who he believed would be withdrawn if 
the territory was annexed to British Kaffraria. It could 
not be incorporated in the Cape Colony, because British 
Kaffraria intervened. Perhaps this view was not altogether 
correct, because the protection of the province beyond the 
colonial frontier was equivalent to the protection of the 
colony itself, but the question whether the police would or 
would not be withdrawn in the event alluded to was never 
submitted to the Cape parliament, so what would have 
happened remains doubtful. 

On the 30th of May a bill was introduced in the house 
of assembly by Mr. Rawson W. Rawson, the colonial secre- 
tary, which provided for the incorporation of British Kaffraria 
with the Cape Colony, the increase of the number of members 
of the legislative council to nine for each province, who were 
to be elected for five years and were to choose their president, 
and the addition of ten members to the house of assembly, 
namely one for each of the western districts Namaqualand, 
Victoria West, Tulbagh, and Riversdale, and two for each of 
the districts of Queenstown, King-Williamstown, and the 
remainder of British Kaffraria. The members were informed 
that the consent of three parties to the annexation proposed 
was necessary, namely the imperial government, the Cape 
parliament, and the people of British Kaffraria. If the Cape 

26 History of the Cape Colony. [1862 

parliament would approve of the measure, the governor 
anticipated that there would be no difficulty in obtaining 
the consent of the other two. The bill was so favourable to 
the eastern ' province, on account of its giving to it equal 
representation with the west in both houses of the legis- 
lature, that the support of the whole of the eastern members 
could be relied upon, and if only two or three western 
members could be induced to vote for it, its passage through 
the house of assembly would be assured. 

The subject therefore became the most important matter 
before parliament in the session of 1862. On the 26th of 
June the colonial secretary moved the second reading of the 
bill, when he based his arguments chiefly upon the disad- 
vantage to the Cape Colony of having a little province on 
its border independent of its control. On the same line of 
reasoning any large state would be justified in absorbing a 
smaller one adjoining it. Mr. Rawson was of course obliged 
to support a government measure, but it was apparent to 
every one that he realised the weakness of his arguments, 
and his speech had no effect whatever upon those who 
listened to it. 

The debate was continued until the 30th, each eastern 
member speaking in favour of the bill as beneficial to his 
side of the colony, but ignoring the views of the KafFrarians, 
and each western opposing it as a revolutionary measure or 
as one designed to throw the whole burden of military 
defence against the Kaffirs upon the colony, by enabling the 
imperial government to withdraw the troops stationed on the 
frontier. On the 80th an amendment was moved that the 
bill be read that day six months, and being put to the vote 
was carried by nineteen to fourteen, the two provinces 
being ranged against each other. On the western side were 
Messrs. Brand, Fairbairn, Haupt, Kotz^, Manuel, Molteno, 
Munnik, Prince, Proctor, Silberbauer, Solomon, Tancred, 
Theunissen, Walter, F. Watermeyer, P. Watermeyer, Watson, 
White, and Ziervogel ; and on the eastern side Messrs. 
Aspeling, R. M. Bowker, T. H. Bowker, Cawood, Clough, 

1862] Philip Edmond Wodehotise, Esqre. 27 

Franklin, Harries, Meyer, Mundy, Scanlen, Slater, Stanton, 
Stretch, and Upton. 

The principal measure proposed by the governor having 
failed, on the 1st of July the colonial secretary brought 
before the house of assembly another of hardly less im- 
portance. This was the advisability of holding the sessions 
of parliament alternately in Capetown and in Grahamstown. 
It was easy for the western members to show that such a 
scheme would entail great expense, that the absence of the 
principal oflBcials from their offices for several months would 
be detrimental to the public service, and that documents 
which would be constantly required by parliament when 
sitting in Grahamstown could not be obtained from Capetown 
without much inconvenience and loss of time. That equality 
for the east required the change was the substance of the 
arguments used by the speakers on the other side. On being 
put to the vote, the measure was lost by seventeen against 
thirteen for it. 

On the 10th of July Mr. Harries brought a motion forward 
in the house of assembly in favour of the separation of the 
provinces, but it was defeated by seventeen votes against 
iifteen. On the 15th a similar motion brought forward by 
Mr. Tucker in the legislative council was lost by nine votes 
to six. At this time nearly the whole of the commerce of 
the republics north of the Orange river, as well as that of 
the eastern province itself, passed through Port Elizabeth, 
so that the customs duties received there were much greater 
than those collected in Capetown. The eastern members 
regarded these duties as part of the revenue of their province, 
and argued not only that they were capable of maintaining 
a government of their own, but that they did not receive 
in the form of public works nearly as much as they were 
entitled to. 

On finding the measures that he had proposed rejected 
by parliament, the governor changed his ground. On the 
I7th of July he wrote to the duke of Newcastle advocating 
the separation of the two provinces, and the establishing in 

28 History of the Cape Colony, [1862 

each of an administration for local purposes, with a legis- 
lature consisting of a single chamber. Under this scheme 
he recommended the annexation of British Kaffraria to the 
eastern province. Over the two colonies to be formed he 
proposed to have a federal government, with a single 
legislative chamber, to have control over special matters in 
which uniformity was necessary. He objected to a system 
of parliamentary or what is usually termed responsible 
government, and desired that the heads of departments 
should continue to be appointed in England by the crown 
and be subject to instructions from the governor only. 

To these proposals the secretary of state replied on the 
5th of November. He was in favour of the annexation of 
British Kaffraria to the Cape Colon}'', but objected to the 
separation of the provinces and the extinction of the 
legislative council. He was of opinion that local councils 
under superintendents appointed by the crown might be 
advantageously introduced, or in other words that the existing 
divisional councils might be enlarged and have increased 
power conferred upon them. Upon the receipt of this 
dispatch the governor abandoned the advocacy of separation, 
and thereafter for a short time this subject occupied the 
minds of the colonists much less than it had previously 

Parliament was prorogued on the 7th of August. During 
the session, bills, introduced by the governor, were passed for 
the construction of railways from Wellington to Worcester, 
from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown, and from a point on 
the Capetown-Wellington line to Malmesbury. The intention 
was that these lines should be built by companies, with a 
guarantee by government of interest at the rate of six per 
cent per annum on the cost, and a sub-guarantee to govern- 
ment by the districts traversed of half the amount to be 
made good, if any, as in the case of the Capetown and 
Wellington line. 

But as no satisfactory offers were made, and it seemed 
unlikely that any companies would be formed in England to 

1862] Sir Philip WodehoMse, 29 

undertake the work, the governor decided to do nothing in 
the matter until parliament should meet again. In 1863 
parliament resolved that the governor should be requested to 
cause surveys to be made, but that nothing more should be 
done before the next session, and during many subsequent 
years the financial condition of the colony was such that 
neither the construction of railways nor any other large 
public works could be undertaken. 

The work on the Capetown and Wellington line was 
progressing. On the 12th of February 1862 it was opened 
for use to Eerste River, 38*6 kilometres, on the 3rd of May 
to Stelienbosch, on the 18th of March 1863 to Paarl, and on 
the 4th of November 1863 it was completed to Wellington 
and opened for use, the total length being fifty-eight miles or 
92"8 kilometres. The Salt River and Wynberg line, con- 
structed by a local company, was commenced on the 14th 
of August 1862, and was opened for use on the 19th of 
December 1864. By it Capetown was connected with its 
southern suburbs, to a distance of eight miles or nearly 
thirteen kilometres ; and by a horse tramway to Sea Point, 
also constructed by a local company, and opened for use on 
the 1st of May 1863, easy communication was had with the 
seaside suburbs in the opposite direction. 

An event of the year 1862 that may be mentioned, though 
of little interest now, was the loss of the Union Company's 
coasting steamer Waldensian, one of the first of their fleet. 
She was on her passage from Port Elizabeth to Capetown, 
with a hundred and twenty-one passengers on board, among 
whom were several clergymen of the Dutch reformed church 
on their wa,y to attend the synod, when at eleven o'clock 
in the night of the 13th of October she struck on a reef at 
Struys Point, and almost immediately broke up. There was 
barely time to lower the boats and get the passengers, the 
mail bags, and the crew to land, but nothing else was saved 
beyond the clothing — in some instances only the night 
dresses — that the unfortunate people had on or could 
hurriedly grasp. 

30 History of the Cape Colony. [1862 

The last scene in a lon^ tragedy, the destruction of the 
aborigines of the Cape Colony, was at this time brought to 
a close. The land on each side of the usually dry gully 
called the Hartebeest river, being the least valuable in the 
country, had not been coveted by any of the immigrant 
peoples until the middle of the nineteenth century. Even 
the Koranas on the banks of the Orange had not wandered 
into it far from that stream, except occasionally after the 
fall of rain, when a herd of cattle might be driven a short 
distance southward for change of pasture. Its extent was 
some three hundred or three hun^ired and fifty kilometres 
from west to east, and from one hundred to two hundred 
kilometres from north to south, according to the curves of 
the Orange river. This land of prolonged droughts, where 
the thermometer often ranges sixty to seventy degrees of 
Fahrenheit's scale between midday and midnight, is as much 
entitled to be termed a desert as the Kalahari on the other 
side of the Orange. Yet after the fall of heavy rains, which 
may only occur at intervals of years, it presents the appear- 
ance of a vast meadow, so luxuriant is then the growth of 
the grass. 

Here until about 1850 the Bushmen were left in undis- 
turbed possession. Then a band of Xosas that had long 
before wandered away from the banks of the Kei, some 
strolling Koranas from the upper Orange, a party of freed 
slaves and other coloured people from the south, and even 
some Dutch colonists who had been accustomed to rove about 
with their cattle, finding the land everywhere else occupied 
or at least claimed, began to encroach on this dreary waste. 
Which of these intruders arrived first cannot be stated, nor 
does it make much difference, as all were found there in 
1862. Reports having reached the government at Capetown 
that the aborigines were being mercilessly exterminated by 
these people, and the territory having been included in th? 
colony since the 17th of December 1847, the governor 
directed Mr. Louis Anthing, civil commissioner and resident 
magistrate of Namaqualand, to make a close inquiry into the 

1862] 5Vr Philip Wode house. 31 

matter, and to take any steps that he might find necessary 
to restore order. 

Mr. Anthing left Springbokfontein in February 1862, and 
after a detour north of the Orange reached the place now 
called Kenhart, on the Hartebeest river. There he com- 
menced to make investiofations and to take evidence, which 
he continued to do in other parts until he acquired complete 
information on the subject. His report to the governor is 
dated 21st of April 1863, and is just the repetition of a story 
as old as the intrusion of the first Hottentot and Bantu 
immigrants into South Africa. No one, black, yellow, or 
white, had regarded the Bushmen as having more right to 
the territory than the hyenas, they had all shot down what 
game there was, and when the wild animals, ostrich eggs, 
honey, and grass seed failed, the Bushmen were obliged either 
to steal or to starve. Many — the number could not be 
estimated— had perished of hunger. Others stole the cattle 
of the newcomers, and murdered people irrespective of sex 
or age whenever they could. Then they were treated by all 
as if they were tigers. During the preceding ten or twelve 
years many hundreds had been killed, though evidence could 
not be obtained as to the particular individuals who had 
been engaged in shooting them down. There were then 
about five hundred left. 

An attempt was made to induce those savages to settle 
down peaceably as graziers, and they were provided by Mr. 
Anthing at the cost of government with a sufficient number 
of she-goats and other breeding stock to make a commence- 
ment with. But this plan succeeded no better than on 
former occasions when it had ' been tried by parties of 
farmers. The Bushmen showed themselves incapable of 
taking such a step forward as the adoption of pastoral habits, 
though several of their race in other districts bad for many 
months at a time served European farmers faithfully as 
herdsmen. The stock provided for them was soon killed and 
eaten, and then the plunder of the intruders into their old 
hunting grounds was the only resource left to them. Some 

32 History of the Cape Colony. [1863 

time afterwards a number of families were sent to a distant 
part of the colony, where they were induced to take service, but 
they soon escaped and returned to their old haunts. 

To the question : what could be done in such a case ? a 
satisfactory answer cannot be given. No force that the 
colony could command would be sufficient to keep such an 
extent of wilderness clear of intruders and to maintain it as 
a Bushman reserve, even if such a course had been con- 
sidered expedient. Cattle breeders and Bushmen cannot live 
together, unless under exceptional circumstances, and those 
circumstances are wanting when the cattle breeders are 
Koranas or Bantu. And so the end of the matter was, as 
in every instance of the kind that had previously occurred, 
those Bushmen who removed preserved their lives, and those 
who tried to remain passed out of sight. In this case they 
had only to cross the Orange river, when the Kalahari was 
before them, not more of a desert than the territory they 
were compelled to abandon. 

On the 16th of April 1863 parliament was opened. The 
treasury was empty, and the colonists were ill disposed to 
bear any increased burdens. But to carry on the adminis- 
tration the governor had been compelled to borrow money, 
and nothing that could be avoided was being spent on 
public works, so that either retrenchment in the civil service, 
taxation in some form, or a loan was unavoidable. Various 
bills were introduced by the governor for the purpose of 
increasing the revenue, but some were rejected, and par- 
liament would only consent to raise the transfer dues on 
fixed property exchanging ownership to four per cent upon 
the purchase price or the value, and to increase the charges 
for certain stamps and licenses. Further, to tide ^over the 
depression, the governor was authorised to raise a loan of 
£150,000 at six per cent yearly interest. 

During this session Mr. J. C. Molteno endeavoured again 
to increase the importance and power of parliament by 
bringing forward a motion in the house of assembly in 
favour of the introduction of responsible government. The 

1863] Sir Philip IVodehotise. 33 

time seemed opportune, for the last session had proved that 
under the existing system the administrative and the 
legislative powers were liable to clash in such a manner 
that effective government was nearly impossible. In 1860 
he had made a similar effort, which was opposed success- 
fully until the country should have an opportunity to 
express an opinion upon it, and at that time both the 
colonial secretary and the attorney general had declared 
themselves in favour of the change. The necessity for it 
seemed now m.ore urgent than at that time. On the 28th 
of May therefore he moved a resolution " that in the 
opinion of this house the time has arrived when the 
introduction of the principle known as responsible or 
parliamentary government into the administration of this 
colony is both expedient and desirable." 

On this occasion the debates were loner and animated. 
The eastern members to a man were opposed to the 
principle, as they feared that under responsible government 
all real power would be centred in the west. The imperial 
government would then withdraw the troops, they main- 
tained, and the coloured people, who had votes equally with 
themselves, would be the prey of agitators seeking place and 
regarding their party more than their country. Some of the 
western members were also opposed to it for these reasons, 
and on the 23rd of June, when a counteractiuor motion was 
brought forward by Mr. Harries, and the question came to 
the vote, Mr. Molteno and those who favoured his views 
found themselves in a minority of eleven against nineteen. 
Those w^ho desired responsible government were Messrs. 
Brand, Fairbairn, Haupt, Molteno, i\lunnik, Silberbauer, 
Solomon, Theunissen, F. Watermeyer, P. Watermeyer, and 
Dr. White ; and those who objected to it w^ ere Messrs. 
Blake, R M. Bowker, T. H. Bowker, Van der Byl, Christie, 
Clough, Darnell, Franklin, Goldmann, Harries, Kotze, Louw, 
Mundy, Prince, Proctor, Slater, Scott, Tancred, and Walter. 

Encouraged by his success, on the 14th of July Mr. 
Harries moved : " that the governor be requested by 


34 History of the Cape Colony, [1864 

respectful address to take measures for summoning the next 
session of parliament to be held in the eastern province, in 
virtue of the power vested in him by the sixtieth section 
of the constitution ordinance." This was carried by fifteen 
votes to fourteen. On the 27th of July a similar motion 
was brought forward in the legislative council. There 
were ^nq eastern members present, who, finding that the 
motion would be lost, left the chamber before the votinsf 
took place. The seven western members present then voted 
unanimously against it. 

On the 28th of July parliament was prorogued, when 
the governor expressed his regret that his financial proposals 
had not been accepted in their entirety, and announced his 
intention to hold the session of the following year in 

In accordance with this intimation, in February 1864 he 
proceeded to the eastern province to superintend the 
necessary arrangements and carry out other duties, and did 
not return to Capetown until November. Some military 
buildings in Grahamstown that were left vacant by a 
redistribution of the troops were fitted up for the accom- 
modation of parliament, and everything necessary for 
holding the session was made ready at the cost of only 
three or four thousand pounds. As the electric telegraph 
between Capetown and Graliamstown was opened for use 
on the 8th of January, it was possible for the governor to 
remain at such a distance from the heads of the depart- 
ments, and to conduct the administration without much 

A general election took place at this time, the term of 
the second parliament having expired, and it was found that 
the place of meeting for the next session was a factor of 
considerable importance in the choice of new members. 
Several of the old representatives declined to be put in 
nomination again, others were rejected, and when the polling 
was over no fewer than twenty-five new men were declared 
duly elected to seats in the house of assembly. 

1864] Sir Philip Wodehotise. 35 

On the 28th of April parliament was opened. The 
governor in his speech stated that the revenue of the last 
year had fallen short of the expenditure by £191,613, and 
that further taxation would be necessary. He had suspended 
many public works early in the year, as tbere was no money 
to carry them on. He said much concerning depredations 
by the Xosas and measures required for their suppression. 
But of more interest than any other information that he 
gave was the announcement that he had lately received 
authority from her Majesty's government to create, on 
account of the colony of British Kaffraria, a defensive force 
of irregular cavalry, and he therefore trusted before many 
months were past to carry out the occupation as a part of 
British Kaffraria of the vacant country beyond the Kei. He 
hoped, he added, that by availing himself of the services of 
the new force he would be able gradually to relieve the 
detachments of the Cape police then stationed beyond the 
Kei, and to restore them to their duties within the colony. 

All the taxing bills submitted by the governor w^ere passed, 
as the eastern members were desirous of showing some 
substantial return for the favour conferred upon them. 
The customs duties were increased by twenty-five per cent, 
to take effect from the 29th of April, so that all articles 
subject to ad valorem rates thereafter paid ten per cent, 
stamps and licenses were increased, duties on succession to 
property were imposed, also a duty on bank notes, and the 
transfer duty act was amended to make it more stringent. 

The efiect upon the revenue of these taxation measures 
can be seen in the following table, which shows that the 
increased transfer duty caused a considerable diminution in 
the sale of fixed property. The great addition to the 
customs duties brought the revenue from that source to 
little more than it was in 1862, owing to the continued 
depression in trade. In stamps and licenses the increase was 
more marked. The returns for 1866 and 1867 contain the 
revenue of British Kaffraria also, which will account for a 
considei'able portion of the increase". 


History of the Cape Colony. 




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1864] Sir Philip Wodehouse. 37 

A court for the eastern districts was created, to consist of 
two of the judges of the supreme court, who were to reside 
in Grahamstown and hold sessions there. For this purpose 
the number of puisne judges was increased to four. In case 
of the two judges disagreeing, the case was to be referred to 
the supreme court in Capetown, which consisted of the 
chief justice and the other two puisne judges. There was 
also liberty to appeal in civil cases from the eastern districts 
court to the supreme court. The new court was provided 
with a registrar, and a solicitor general was also to be 
appointed in connection with it. At tlie beginning of the 
following year, 1865, it was established, when Judge Connor 
was removed from Natal to Grahamstown, and Advocate 
Denyssen was appointed acting judge to fill the otlier seat. 

In the house of assembly this session notice was given of 
an intention to propose a resolution in favour of the removal 
of the seat of government to Grahamstown, but it was 
deferred until the western members became apprehensive 
that it was being purposely delayed until they should leave 
to return home. A counter motion was then brought 
forward, and as the eastern members left the house before 
the voting took place, it was carried unanimously. 

In the legislative council the same tactics were resorted to. 
Towards the close of the session, when most of the western 
members had left, a motion was brouo^ht forward in favour 
of the incorporation of British Kaffraria in the Cape Colony, 
and was carried by five eastern votes to two western, there 
being only seven members present. In the same chamber 
and by the same majority of five, eastern against two western 
members a resolution was carried in favour of the next 
session being held in the eastern province. 

On the 28th of July parliament was prorogued. The 
experiment of holding it in a town at a distance of four 
hundred and sixty-two miles or seven hundred and forty 
kilometres in a straight line from the principal offices con- 
taining records and all other conveniences usually considered 
indispensable was regarded by Sir Philip Wodehouse as 

-^8 History of the Cape Colony, [1864 


satisfactory, because he had been enabled by it to carry his 
measures, but no other governor ever resorted to such a plan, 
nor did he venture to repeat it. 

In February 1864 the Union Company extended its ocean 
mail service to Port Elizabeth, which did awaj^ with the 
necessity of transliipping the mails and passengers for that 
port on the arrival of tlie steamers in Table Bay. Later in the 
year an arrangement was made with the same company to 
carry a mail monthly to Mauritius, in return for which a small 
subsidy was to be paid. Practically this gave the Cape Colony 
the advantage of two mails each month from England, one 
by the Atlantic and the other by the Mediterranean and 
Indian route. By the improvement and enlargement of the 
steamers the passage down the Atlantic to Table Bay was 
now often made in less than thirty days. 

Another association in England, termed the Diamond 
Steamship Company, at this time commenced running 
steamers monthly to Port Elizabeth, East London, and 
Natal. Its first steamer, the Eastern Province, arrived in 
Algoa Bay from Falmouth on the 26th of May 1864, after a 
passage of thirty-two days and a few hours. This company 
was also subsidised for carrying the mails from Falmouth, 
at the rate of £50 for every day under twenty-seven on a 
passage and a proportion of the postage on letters and papers 
conveyed. This gave three mails monthly from England, 
but not at regular intervals, as the dates of departure of 
the ships of each line were arranged without reference to 
the other. 

The Eastern Province, the first ship of the Diamond 
Company's fleet, had a short term of service. She was on 
the passage from Port Elizabeth to Falmouth when, a little 
before daylight on the 26th of June 1865 she ran ashore on 
the coast close to the mouth of Ratel River, and became a 
wreck. All on board got safely to land, but part of the 
car^^o was lost. 

This company soon ceased running steamers between 
Er.orland and South Africa, but for several years they kept 

1S64] Sir Philip Wode house, 39 

one or two vessels in the coasting trade between Table Bay 
and Natal, calling at all the intermediate ports. 

The crops gathered in the early months of 1864 were 
better than those of the previous year, but agriculture was 
far from flourishing, and the commercial depression was 
increasing rather than diminishing. Emigration to New 
Zealand and to America was going on, but there were many 
artisans and labourers without the means of paying their 
passages to other countries and unable to obtain employment. 
Private benevolence was heavily taxed, and charitable 
institutions of various kinds were established to prevent 
actual starvation, but there was the danger of creating a 
class of paupers by such means. At length the distress 
became so great that the governor considered it necessary 
to inaugurate relief works, though without parliamentary 
sanction for incurring expense on this account. He selected 
the Tulbagh kloof to commence with. The railway when 
extended would have to pass either through this kloof or 
some other in the first range of mountains, and it was 
generally regarded as the best for the purpose, though to go 
through it would cause a long bend in the line like the letter 
U. In September 1864 the work of cutting a road fit for a 
railway from the Bushman's rock on the western side of the 
range, along the gorge through which the Little Berg river 
flows, into the Tulbagh basin was commenced, and soon 
several hundred white men and as many blacks were engaged 
on it. There were masses of rock to be cut through, re- 
taining walls to be built, bridges to be constructed, and much 
other hard work to be done, so that it occupied the labourers 
thirteen months, and was the means of preventing a great 
deal of destitution. 

On the 5th of October 1864 by the death of Mr. John 
Fairbairn the colony lost one of its ablest and most promi- 
nent men. The mistake he had made with regard to the 
Xosas in Sir Benjamin D'Urban's time had long been 
forgotten, for with experience he had seen cause to change 
his views, though he never ceased to support judicious 

40 History of the Cape Colony, [1864 

measures for the improvement of the coloured people within 
and bej^ond the border. His struggle with Lord Charles 
Somerset for the freedom of the press, his exertions on 
behalf of education, his resistance to the introduction of 
convicts and the losses he sustained in consequence of the 
leading part he took in that event, and his efforts to secure 
representative institutions for the colony have been recorded 
in these volumes. Of late years, owing to his advanced age, 
he was unable to take as active a part in public life as he 
had done when in full vigour, but to the last he was 
regarded as one of the most consistent and energetic 
advocates of responsible government. An estimable man in 
private life, a good colonist in every sense of the word 
passed away when he died. 

An industry which has since attained large proportions 
and added considerably to the exports of South Africa had 
its origin about this time. From the earliest years of 
colonisation by the Dutch it was known that the ostrich 
could be tamed, and the female bird was often seen in a 
domesticated state, though it was only regarded as an odd 
pet, just as a tame springbok or baboon would be. The 
male bird was generally avoided, as it was dangerous in the 
breeding season, when it was apt to attack any person or 
animal approaching it, and inflict severe wounds by striking 
forward with its foot, which was armed with a formidable 
nail. The beautiful plumes obtained from the wings and 
tail of the ostrich had always been saleable at high prices, 
but hitherto had only been collected from wild birds. These 
had been shot down for the purpose, until they had become 
so scarce as to be nearly extinct in the long settled parts 
of the colony. 

It seems never to have occurred to anyone that it would 
pay to keep tame ostriches for the sake of their feathers, 
until the long drought forced men to think about the 
matter. The favourite home of the bird was the desert, and 
it was known to thrive where nearly all other large animals 
would perish. It cannot be stated with certainty who first 

iS65J Sir Philip Wodeliouse. 41 

made the attempt, but Mr. Von Maltitz, of Graaff Reinet, is 
generally credited with it. The plan adopted was to take 
the chicks when only a dajT- or two old from a wild bird's 
nest, and rear them in enclosed paddocks, until some years 
later incubators were brought into use. In some parts, 
where the paddocks were large, no artificial food was 
needed, but in others it was required. The bird was 
almost omniverous, so under any circumstances it was easily 
kept. For many years the profits from this industry were 
greater than from any other branch of farming in South 
Africa, but in course of time the number of tame ostriches 
so increased that the price of plumes went down, and this 
occupation fell in the matter of returns to the level of other 
pastoral pursuits. 

The imperial government at this time maintained five 
battalions of infantry, the Cape mounted rifles, some sappers 
and miners, and a few artillerymen in South Africa. 

In March 1863 the second battalion of the 13th left for 
Mauritius, and in April the second battalion of the 5th 
arrived from that island to replace it. 

In March 1863 the 96th regiment arrived to relieve the 
85th, which left in May for England. 

In November 1864 the first battalion of the 10th arrived 
to replace the second battalion of the regiment, which 
embarked in the same transports and proceeded to India. 

In April 1865 the second battalion of the 11th left for 
China, and was replaced by the 67th, one wing of which 
arrived from China in April and the other from Mauritius 
in September. 

In April 1865 one wing of the 99fch arrived from China, 
and the remainder of the regiment arrived in September 
from Mauritius. 

In October 1865 the first battalion of the 9th arrived from 
Europe to replace the 96th, which proceeded in that month 
and the following to Bombay. 

In South Africa, in January 1866 there were the second 
battalion of the 5th, the first battalion of the 9th, the first 

3 J 3 > ; 
:; 3 3^ 33- 

42 Hisioiy of the Cape Colojty. [}^^S 

battalion of the 10th, the 67th, and the 99th regiments of 
the line. 

In the session of paiiiament of 1864 provision was made 
for taking a census in the colony, which was carried into 
effect in March 1865. The population was found to consist of 

Europeans « - - - - - 181,592 

Hottentots 81,598 

Bantu 100,536 

Half-breeds, Asiatics, descendants of 

slaves, and other coloured people - 132,655 

Total number of souls - - - - 496,381 

They were distributed as follows : 

Western Districts. Eastern Districts. 

Europeans - - 105,348 76,244 

Coloured people - 130,952 183,837 

The municipality of Capetown, excluding the suburbs, con- 
tained 14,045 males and 14,412 females, 28,457 in all, of 
whom 15,118, or rather more than half, were of European 

Port Elizabeth came next in number of inhabitants. It 
contained 4,628 males and 4,072 females, 8,700 in all, of 
whom 6,886, or three-fourths of the whole, were Europeans. 

Grahamstown followed, with 2,981 males and 2,968 females, 
5,949 in all, of whom 5,265 were Europeans and only 684 
were coloured servants. 

The Paarl was the fourth municipality in size in the 
colony. It contained 2,434 males and 2,495 females, 4,929 in 
all, of whom only 1,978, or two-fifths of the whole, were 

The eastern districts were considerably in advance of the 
western in the number of horses, horned cattle, sheep, and 
goats owned by the inhabitants, as is shown by the following 
returns : 

1B65] Sir Philip Wodehotise. 43 

Western Districts. 

Eastern Districts. 

Horses - 



^Vlules and asses 



Horned cattle 



WooUed sheep 

» 2,243,393 


Cape sheep 

- 1,217,472 



- 1,044,508 





On the other hand, agriculture was much more extensively 
carried on in the west than in the east, with the single 
exception of the cultivation of maize, which was owing to 
the Bantu growing that grain extensively for their own con- 
sumption. The number of morgen of ground cultivated for 
each kind of produce was returned as follows : 

Western Districts. 

Eastern Districts, 




Barley and rye - 









Peas and beans - 






Garden ground - 






Vines - - - 



Of the chief article of export, the western districts 
produced during the preceding yeg^r 5,017,196 pounds avoir- 
dupois, or 2,275,749 kilogrammes, of wool, and the eastern 
districts 13,887,840 pounds, or 6,299,385 kilogrammea. 



The hopes that were raised throughout South Africa, and 
particularly in British KafFraria, by the governor's speech at 
the opening of parliament in 1864, that the vacant ground 
beyond the Kei would at last be allotted to European 
settlers, and the influence and power of the civilised race 
in the country be thus increased, were doomed to be dis- 
appointed. An opportunity such as can never occur again 
of pushing forward the border of the white immigrants, 
without doing the slightest harm to the black immigrants, 
was unfortunately thrown away. Vacant land such as that 
east of the Kei, adapted for agricultural and pastoral 
purposes, is in South Africa like a depression surrounded 
with pools of water: it must be filled with something or it 
will be overflowed. It is surprising that the Cape police 
had been able to keep it open as long as they did. 

The tract of land along the base of the Kathlamba 
mountains had never been occupied except by Bushmen, and 
that between the Indwe and the Kei on one side and tlie 
Bashee on the other had been forfeited by tlie paramount 
Xosa chief Kreli in 1858, after his insane attempt to make 
war upon the Cape Colony by throwing his whole tribe in 
a famishing condition upon it. In February of that year 
he and his adherents were driven over the Bashee into 
Bomvanaland, and the territory was then occupied and con- 
stantly patrolled by the Cape frontier armed and mounted 
police. Only two small Bantu settlements were permitted 
within it. One of these was the Butterworth mission 
station, where some Fingos were allowed to live, and the 


1864] Abandonment of the Transkei, 45 

other was at Idutywa (pron. Ai-dootsh-wah) near the centre 
of the former Galeka country, where some people from 
British Kaffraria had been located by Colonel Gawler in 
August 1858. 

An officer was stationed there with the title of Transkeian 
special magistrate, who exercised jurisdiction over the people 
and kept the government informed of what was going on. 
Colonel Gawler held this appointment until September 1858, 
when he was succeeded by Lieutenant George Pomeroy 
Colley. Mr. W. G. B. Shepstone succeeded Lieutenant Colley 
in Mav 1860, and Mr. William B. Chalmers succeeded Mr. 
Shepstone in September 1861. Mr. Chalmers held the 
appointment from that date until tlie close of 1864 During 
these seven years the Idutywa district was regarded as a 
dependency of the crown colony of British Kaffraria, and 
the special magistrates were appointed by the government 
of that province. The Bantu who resided at Idutywa were 
offshoots of various clans. About half of them were Fingos, 
there were some Xdlambes under the petty chief Smith 
Umhala, who was a great-grandson of Rarabe, and even some 

Early in 1864 Sir Philip Wodehouse visited the 
Tambookie location west of the Indwe. This was the 
ground that Sir George Cathcart had allotted to the 
Emigrant Tembus in 1853, the same that is now known as 
the district of Glen Grey. It appeared to the governor that 
it would be advantageous to obtain this ground for 
Europeans if the Tembus would exchange it for a larger 
tract beyond the Indwe. He spoke to the chiefs about it 
in general terms, and as they seemed inclined to regard it 
favourably, he instructed Mr. J. C. Warner, the government 
agent in the location, to discuss the matter carefully with 
them and communicate the result. 

On the 8th of April Mr. Warner reported that he had held 
meetings with the chiefs and leading men, and that they 
had unanimouslv consented to remove on condition that the 
boundaries of the land to be received in exchange should bs 

46 Abandonment of the Transkei, [1864 

" from the source of the Indwe in the Waslibank range of 
mountains down the eastern bank of that river to its 
junction with the Kei, thence down the latter river to its 
junction with the Tsomo, thence up the western bank of the 
Tsomo to the waggon road at the police station, thence along 
the said waggon road to the Umgwali drift below Clarke- 
bury ; the northern boundary to be the Washbank and 
Kathlamba mountains. That this country should be secured 
to them, and only be forfeited in case of their making war 
on the colony. That their independence should be 
guaranteed to them as far as consistent with humanity and 
the paramount authority of the queen. That their stipends 
should be continued to them, that they should enjoy all the 
privileges they then possessed, and that the Tambookie 
agent at the time should be appointed British resident with 

The chiefs thus asked for a country so many times the 
size of the location which they were to give in exchange 
that the governor was not disposed to nccept their terms. 
On the 10th of April he replied to Mr. Warner, offering "all 
the territory from the source of the Tsomo in the Stormberg 
down its left bank till nearly oppo.^ite the police station, 
and thence east by the waggon road to the Bashee." Under 
this proposal the district between the Indwe and the Tsomo 
would have been left for European occupation, and the 
exchange of territory would not have been very detrimental 
to the colony. The chiefs, however, rejected it, and the 
negotiations then ceased for several months. 

A long and unaccountable delay occurred before the 
governor made known the conditions under v/hich grants of 
land in the Transkeian territory would be made, and when 
at last, on the 1st of June, the requisite notice appeared, the 
terms were so burdensome that most people believed they 
were designed purposely to prevent European colonisation. 
In that notice farms from one thousand to three thousand 
English acres in extent were offered to approved applicants, 
on condition of maintaining one white man for every five 

1864] Abandonment of the Trans kei. 47 

hundred acres and the payment of yearly quitrent at the 
rate of £1 for every hundred acres. The territory 
was to be annexed to British KafFraria, and was to be 
defended by a body of irregular horse paid by the imperial 
government for five years, after which the expense was to be 
gradually reduced. 

In the best part of South Africa, with a good market 
close at hand, farming might pay on such terms, but on a 
distant frontier, where for many years, until towns sprang 
up, only cattle breeding could be carried on. Sir Philip 
Wodehouse's conditions were prohibitive. He was soon 
convinced of this himself, for in August he modified them 
by reducing the quitrent to fifteen shillings for every 
hundred acres, and requiring only two adult males in 
addition to the grantee himself on every farm of three 
thousand acres, one of whom was to be a European and the 
other a man approved by the governor. The Europeans 
were of course to be mounted and armed at their own 
expense, and to muster regularly for inspection as in British 
Kafiraria. Under these conditions it was ascertained that 
there would be no difiiculty in filling up the vacant territory, 
but they were made too late. 

For some time past Kreli had gradually been recovering 
importance. His followers were returning to him from the 
various districts in which they had been scattered by the 
terrible famine that followed the destruction of their cattle 
and grain in 1856, and Bomvanaland was too small to contain 
them. In February 1861 Sir Walter Currie on behalf of 
the high commissioner ofiered him a large tract of land 
beyond the Umtata, and he expressed himself willing to 
occupy it, but afterwards declined acceptance on the ground 
that his removal to it would inevitably lead to war with 
the Pondos. His real reason was that he hoped then to 
recover his former territory, and no Bantu chief of the coast 
will ever move eastward or northward if he can avoid it. 
He does not say so in words, but he feels, as if instinctively, 
the pressure of his race towards the setting sun. 

4^ Abandonment of the Tra^iskei. [1864 

\vi }liiy and June 1864 a panic was created on the frontier, 
owing to a report that Kreli had resolved to attack the 
police and attempt to recover the land he had lost. Sir 
Walter'^Currie, then commandant of the police, believed the 
report to be well founded, and gave it as his opinion that 
European settlers should not move beyond the Kei until the 
chief and his people were driven over the Umtata to the 
land offered to them there. Mr. Chalmers, the special 
magistrate at Idutywa, did not credit the rumour, and 
thought there was no cause for apprehending a disturbance 
of the peace, but Sir Walter Currie's opinion had greater 
weight than his with the governor, and all the troops 
available were put in readiness to meet an attack. On the 
11th of June Sir Philip Wodehouse reported his appre- 
hensions to the secretary of state, and at the same time Sir 
Percy Douglas, who in November 1863 had succeeded 
Lieutenant-General Wjmyard as commander in chief of the 
forces in South Africa, wrote that he believed the occupation 
of the Transkeian territory by Europeans would cause 
increased military expenditure by Great Britain. 

Without further investigation, or ascertaining whether the 
rumour concerning Kreli's intentions had any foundation in 
fact, Mr. Card well, then secretary of state for the colonies, 
resolved to abandon the vacant territory. On the 5th of 
August 1864 he informed the governor that her Majesty's 
ministers were averse to incurring the risk of additional 
charges, and that therefore "British dominion must be 
withdrawn from it, and the Kei be made the extreme 
boundary." The irregular liorse that it had been intended 
to raise would on this account be unnecessary, and need not 
be enrolled. This retrograde movement was believed by the 
vast majority of the European colonists to be more 
disastrous, and to be a more severe blow to the prosperity 
of South Africa, than even the abandonment of the Orange 
River Sovereignty ten years previously. 

But Sir Philip Wodehouse did not wait for these instruc- 
tions. They w^ere not even written when at the beginning 

1864] Abandonment of the Transkei. 49 

of August he sent Sir Walter Currie to inform Kreli that 
the government would take him into favour again, give 
him back part of the territory he had formerly occupied, 
and grant him an allowance in money of £100 a year as 
long as he should conduct himself in a friendly manner. 
Mr. Warner, the Tambookie agent, was directed to make 
the necessary arrangements, and no time was lost in carr}^- 
ing them out. Kreli of course accepted the offer with 
many expressions of thanks, and in the months of 
September and October his people moved over the Bashee 
into the country thereafter termed Galekaland. This district 
was the seaboard portion of that which the Galekas occupied 
before 1857. It extended from the Bashee to the Kei, and 
from the ocean to a well defined boundary formed partly 
by flowing water and partly by the great waggon road 
which runs eastward past Butterworth. At present it forms 
the districts of Kentani and Willowvale. On the 5th of 
October Mr. Cardwell wrote to Sir Philip Wodehouse, 
approving of what he had done in the matter. 

It was in very truth necessary that the paramount Xosa 
chief should have ground allotted to him somewhere, for there 
was not sufficient space in the Bomvana district for his people 
to live in, as well as the proper owners, the clan then under 
the aged and pacific chief Moni. Justice and prudence, to 
say nothing of generosity, required this, for a half starved 
and cramped up mass of barbarians is always a menace to 
its neighbours. But there was plenty of vacant ground 
beyond the Umtata, and Sir Walter Currie's plan of 
forcing Kreli and the Galekas to^ remove to it would have 
met the difficulty and saved a fine slip of land for occupation 
by Europeans. That much was now irrecoverably lost. 

In September 1864, when it was announced to the 
colonists that no farms were to be given out beyond the 
Kei, it was anticipated that different Bantu clans living west 
of that river could be induced to move over, and leave the 
ground they were then occupying for the use of white 
people. Sir Philip Wodehouse therefore renewed his negotia- 

VOL. IV. 81 

50 Abandonment of the Transkei. [1865 

tions with the chiefs in the Tarabookie location, and offered 
them now the whole tract of country between the Indwe 
river and that occupied by the remainder of their tribe 
who werta living in independence under the 3'Oung chief 
Gangelizwe. He had a double object in this : the acquisition 
of the Glen Grey location and the strengthening of the 
Tembu tribe as a counterpoise to the power of Kreli by 
bringing the different sections together again. The ground 
he offered was not only verj'' much larger than that from 
which he wished them to remove, but was also more fertile 
and better adapted for their needs. 

A lengthy correspondence ensued with Mr. Warner, who 
conducted the negotiations with the Tembus, and who was 
at first tolerably confident of being able to carry out the 
governor's views. Raxoti, Darala, and Gecelo, the three 
most powerful chiefs in the location, consented to the pro- 
posed exchange. For some months Sir Philip Wodehouse 
and Mr. Richard Southey, who in July 1864 had succeeded 
Mr. Rawson as colonial secretary, seemed to hope for, if not 
to anticipate success, their chief fear being that Nonesi 
would probably evade carrying out the plan in its entirety'', 
by remaining behind herself with a few adherents. There 
was a strong feeling of jealousy between the old chieftainess 
and Raxoti, or, as afterwards called, Matanzima, and it 
seemed likely that if one went the other would not. In this 
case, in February 1865 the government proposed to assign 
land in the old location sufficient for their needs to Nonesi 
and such of her followers as should stay with her. 

In the meantime a delay was caused by the request of the 
chiefs to be allowed time to gather their crops which were 
then growing. This was conceded as reasonable, but after thfe 
harvest there was no general movement. Sections of the 
people crossed the Indwe, though taking care always that a 
sufficient number remained behind to prevent the occupation 
by any one else of the ground they were leaving. The 
governor was powerless in the matter, as since British 
dominion had been withdrawn from the vacant territorv. 

1^65] Abandon7ite7it of the Transkei. 51 

what he was offering in exchange was not really his to dis- 
pose of. The Tembus knew this as well as he did, and so 
force could not be used either to prevent a partial migration, 
or to drive the whole of them over the river. In June, 1865 
Mr. Warner announced that the scheme had completely 
broken down, and the governor could only regret that the 
announcement was true and remonstrate with the chiefs who 
remained in the old location. 

Mr. C. D. Griffith, then civil commissioner of Queenstown, 
was directed to communicate to them that they would no 
longer be recognised as having any authoritj?-, that the 
ordinary colonial laws would be substituted for the Bantu 
law under w^hich the people had previously been governed, 
and that the office of Tambookie agent v/as abolished. He 
proceeded to the location, and on the 22nd of November 1865 
had a meeting with Nonesi, some petty chiefs, and about 
fifteen hundred men. Mr. Griffith delivered his message, 
and in the usual way was thanked for what he had com- 
municated. Nonesi replied that she was a child of the 
government, that she had been invited after the last war by 
the government itself to live in the location, and could not 
understand why it was now desired she should remove. 

The daughter of Faku and widow of Vusani preferred to 
remain where she was the person of most consequence, 
rather than be of little account in presence of Gangelizwe 
and Matanzima, the sons of Umtirara, who was her child 
by adoption only. The people were pleased to obtain more 
land beyond the Indwe, and did not wish to relinquish any 
on the colonial side. As for English law superseding theirs, 
the magistrate might talk ae much as he chose, but they 
would keep the customs of their fathers. There are no 
people on the face of the earth who can offer passive 
resistance more effectually than the Bantu, and so the 
Tembus kept the location and their old customs and laws 
as well, while those who moved from it obtained possession 
of the whole of the upper portion of Kreli's former country, 
now the districts of Xalanga and St. Mark's, 

52 Abandonment oj the Trans kei, [1865 

As for Nonesi, she made herself a nuisance to the colonial 
authorities, though always calling herself a child of the 
government. At length her conduct became so bad that it 
was necessary to remove her. In December 1868 she was put 
in a waggon, and sent with a police escort to Pondoland, 
where she was handed over to her brother Ndamasi. But 
her removal was not followed by the migration of the people, 
though it made the enforcement of order among them less 
difficult than before. 

There remained a tract about twelve hundred square 
miles, or three thousand square kilometres, in extent 
in the centre of the territory. Sir Philip Wodehouse 
hoped that in exchange for this he might obtain the 
locations west of the Kei belonging to the Gaika chiefs 
Sandil^, Anta, and Oba, that is the present district of Cathcart. 
By his instructions Mr Charles Brownlee, the Gaika 
commissioner, held a meeting with those chiefs and their 
people on the 16th of March 1865 to discuss the matter. 
Mr Brow^nlee offered the chiefs perfect independence over 
the Kei, instead of the restraint to which they were subject 
on the colonial side of the river. They would retain their 
monthly allowances in money also, so that they would 
lose nothing at all, and obtain a big country in exchange 
for a small one. But the chiefs and their people alike 
turned a deaf ear to all his proposals. Their principal 
reason for doing so was an objection to move into a 
district which the head of their tribe still hoped to 
acquire, and thus deprive him of it; but this was not 
allowed to appear, and the governor was led to believe 
that they objected to cross the Kei because " they acknow- 
ledged the benefits they had received from living in 
tranquillity under British rule, and were indisposed to fall 
back under the uncontrolled authority of their own chiefs." 

All hope of obtaining ground for European settlement 
by means of the removal of Bantu occupiers was now of 
necessity abandoned, and the governor turned next to the 
Fingos, from whom nothing was anticipated in , exchange. 

1865] Abandonment of the TranskeL 53 

These people were first introduced to the colony in 1835, 
when some sixteen thousand of them were brought across 
the Kei by Sir Benjamin D'Ur])an and were located in 
the Peddie district. Afterwards others had been brought 
over, or had migrated to the colony in families or small 
parties. They had multiplied in an almost incredible manner, 
there being no parallel in history of any people increasing 
so rapidly in number as these Fingos have done since they 
came into the colony. Their locations in Peddie soon 
became overcrowded, and swarms from them were then 
settled in Victoria East, in the beautiful valleys along the 
Amatola range, in the Queenstown district, and even in the 
Zitzikama. The same thing went on at each fresh location, 
so that shortly there was a multitude of Fingos in the 
border districts, pressing upon the remaining population 
and clamouring for land. 

Sir Philip Wodehouse offered the vacant country to these 
people, and before the close of the year 1865 nearly forty 
thousand of them moved into it, without, however, giving 
up a square metre of land in the colony. Some of them 
raised an objection at first to their settlement without 
protection in a district bordering on that occupied by the 
Galekas, but they were satisfied with a promise that if they 
conducted themselves properly their enemies would not be 
permitted to destroy them. Captain Cobbe, previously 
superintendent of the Healdtown location, was stationed 
with them, with the title of Fingo agent. The territory 
thus allotted to the Fingos comprised the present districts 
of Nqamakwe, Tsomo, and Butterworth. 

All the land between the Kei and the Bashee was thus 
parcelled out among rival Bantu clans, most of whose 
members had previously been British subjects. The govern- 
ment of the Cape Colony hoped to be able by its influence 
alone to preserve order among them and prevent an outbreak 
of war, but such influence had often failed before, and it 
might do so again. " In thus disposing of this territory," 
wrote Sir Philip Wodehouse to the secretary of state, "we 

54 Abandonment of the Transkei. [i^^S 

entirely relinquish all rights of sovereignty over it, and these 
tribes will be governed by their own chiefs and their own 
customs. But in accordance with their own wishes, and for 
their benefit as well as for our own, each tribe will be guided 
and aided by a British resident." 

This quotation shows the nature of the relationship 
between the Cape Colony and the Transkeian country for 
several years. There was a British resident in the person of 
Mr. J. C. Warner, who was stationed at Idutywa, and who 
corresponded with the government and acted generally as a 
diplomatic agent. The only legal authority he possessed 
was derived from a commission under the imperial act 26 and 
27 Victoria, which empowered him to cause the arrest of 
criminals being British subjects anywhere between the Kei 
and the border of Natal, and send them to the Cape Colony 
for trial, but this did not apply to the Bantu residents. Sub- 
ordinate to him were his son Mr. E. J. Warner, who had 
the title of Tembu agent and who resided at Southeyville, 
Captain Cobbe, who was termed Fingo agent, and Mr. 
William Fynn, son of the former diplomatic agent with the 
Galekas, who had been for several years clerk to the special 
magistrate at Idutywa, and was appointed resident with 
Kreli in July 1865. This arrangement lasted until October 
1869, when the office of British resident was abolished, and 
the various agents, who had previously reported to Mr. 
Warner, senior, were placed in direct correspondence with the 
government in Capetown. 

The territory into which the emigrant Tembus moved was 
divided into four great blocks, over each of which there was 
a recognised chief. One of tliese was Matanzima, a brother 
of Gangelizwe, another was Darala, a descendant of Tembu, 
but a very distant relative of the paramount chief; the third 
and fourth were Gecelo, son of Tshopo, and Stokwe, son of 
Undlela, neither of whom was a Tembu by descent. These 
and several others who were subordinate to them received 
small yearly allowances from the Cape government according 
to their rank, Matanzima, the most important of them, being 

1S65J Abandonment of the Tj^anskei. 55 

paid £52 a year after September 1867, when his grant was 
increased and he was entitled a chief of the first class. They 
were treated as independent rulers, however. Their people 
paid no taxes to the colonial treasury, but a few European 
traders and woodcutters who went into the country paid for 
licenses to then. They governed their people and collected 
the isizi * and other dues from their subjects in the usual 
Bantu way. 

The Tembu agent was instructed to use his influence in 
controlling the relationship between the chiefs so as to 
preserve peace, but he had no other power than to recom- 
mend the stoppage of the annual allowances. There were 
intrigues and jealousies among them, and on one occasion, 
in 1868, the feud between the old chieftainess Nonesi and 
Matanzima nearly involved the country in war, but actual 
hostilities were averted by the prudent management of the 
agent. The Cape authorities in every instance, when applied 
to, declined to interfere. Early in 1872, however, the 
colonial government so far departed from its previous policy 
as to send a commission to inquire into the disputes as to 
boundaries and to arbitrate between the contending chiefs. 
Certain lines were thereupon laid down, and were afterwards 
respected by all parties. 

The main body of the tribe to which these people professed 
to belong resided between the Bashee and the Umtata, and 
there was now no break between its farthest eastern outposts 
and the westernmost kraal in the location at Glen Grey. 
Apparently it was thus very powerful, but in reality a slight 
shock would have broken it into fragments. In 1863, Qeya, 
great son of Umtirara, was circumcised, when he took the 
name of Gangelizwe, and assumed the government of the 
Tembu tribe. On this occasion the colonial authorities, as a 
mark of friendship, presented him with the sum of £50, 

* Isizi means the fines paid to a chief for murder, assault, and other 
offences considered criminal, as distinguished from civil, in Bantu law. 
With some tribes, as for instance the Pondos, it also means an ox paid 
to the chief when the death of a man is reported by his relatives, to 
console him for the loss of a subject, 

56 Abandonment of the Transkei. [1866 

and promised him an allowance of £52 a year. There had 
long been an ill-feeling between the Tembus and the Xosas, 
and this was now increased by personal jealousy between 
Gangelizwe and Sigcawu, great son of Kreli, who had also 
just come of age. Between the Tembus and the Pondos on 
the other side there was likewise a feud of long standing, 
which now and again occasioned war. Under these circum- 
stances, the influence of the late regent Joyi and the old 
counsellors of Umtirara was in favour of keeping on good 
terms with the colonial government. 

The Tembu tribe, as has been stated before, was not a 
compact body, inasmuch as many of its clans were of alien 
blood. The most powerful of Gangehzwe's vassals, indeed, — 
Dalasil^ head of the Amakwati clans, — was not a Tembu by 
descent, and was not inclined to admit much more than the 
precedence of the paramount ruler. He could bring almost 
as many followers into the field as Gangelizwe could from 
the kraals under his immediate government. 

To strengthen himself therefore, the }■ oung chief encouraged 
other alien clans to settle in his country. He specially 
favoured a large Fingo clan under the chief Menziw^ who 
had taken refuge in Tembuland in the time of Umtirara, 
and he even induced a number of European farmers from 
the Cape Colony to settle along the western bank of the 
Umtata so as to form a barrier between him and the 
Pondos. A similar little European community was also 
formed at the Slang river on another border of his territory. 
Each of these farmers paid him rent at the rate of £6 a 
year, and as some eighty families settled in his country on 
the terms which he offered, he derived a good income as well 
as some protection from them. They were of course in 
every respect self-governing, or rather they lived without 
a government at all, as they were not subject to Bantu 
law, and would not brook interference by a Bantu chief. 
The arrangement was that in return for the use of a farm 
or cattle run and protection from theft by his people, each 
man was to pay the paramount Tembu chief £6 a year. 

iSyi] Abcuidonnient of the Transkei. 57 

Their lives were always respected, but their property was 
held on a precarious tenure, and they were frequently 
subjected to annoj^ances for which they could obtain no 
redress. It was a strange and unnatural position for white 
men to be in. 

Gangelizwe was usually an easy-going, mild-mannered man, 
but he was subject to fits of ungovernable temper, when he 
was prone to commit the most savage acts. In May 1866 he 
took as his great wife a daughter of the Xosa chief Kreli. 
The marriage was brought about by his counsellors for 
political purposes, and affection had nothing to do with it. 
The treatment of this woman by her husband when he was 
enraged was so brutal that in 1870 she fled from him, and 
returned to her father maimed and covered with wounds. 
Fearing Kreli's vengeance, as soon as his wife left him the 
Tembu chief, through Mr. E. J. Warner, applied to the high 
commissioner for an officer to reside with him, and a few 
months later repeated the request. Thereupon, in February 
1871 Mr. E. B. Chalmers was appointed resident with 
Gangelizwe, to advise him and to be the medium of 
communication between him and the colonial government. 

Acting by the advice of Mr. Fynn, Kreli had submitted to 
the governor a complaint of the treatment of his daughter 
by Gangelizwe, and Messrs. Fynn and Chalmers were 
instructed to investigate the matter and report upon it. 
They did so, and in March 1871 the governor pronounced 
judgment, that Gangelizwe should pay to Kreli forty head 
of cattle. Kreli accepted the cattle awarded to him, though 
he considered the punishment altogether too slight. His 
people, incensed at the outraged inflicted on their chief's 
daughter, which they regarded as insults to themselves, and 
smarting under the occupation by the emigrant Tembus of a 
tract of land that had once been theirs, were intent upon 
revenge. Plundering commenced, followed by retaliation, and 
presently the two tribes were at war. 

On the 30th of September 1872 Kreli and his son Sigcawu 
crossed the Bashee at the head of a large army, and invaded 

58 Abandonment of the Transkei. [1872 

Tembuland. As the Galekas advanced the Tembus fell back 
until the 6th of October, when a battle was fought in which 
the - Tembus were totally defeated. Gangelizwe with his 
bodyguard fled to the Wesleyan mission station Clarkebury, 
where the reverend Mr. Hargreaves was then residing. This 
gentleman was possessed of rare courage as well as of great 
influence over the people around him. He met Kreli, whose 
followers were elated with victory and half mad with 
excitement, and induced him to abstain from further pursuit. 

Gangelizwe now offered to Mr. Chalmers to cede the whole 
of his country unconditionally to the British government. 
The resident asked that the offer should be made at a public 
meeting, and one was called for the purpose. On the 21st 
of October a number of the sub-chiefs came together, and 
expressed a strong feeling in favour of the cession. DalasiM, 
however, and several others were not present. 

A commission, consisting of Lieutenant-Colonel Edmonstone, 
of the 82nd regiment, Mr. E. A. Judge, civil commissioner 
and resident magistrate of Queenstown, and Inspector J. 
Murray Grant, of the frontier armed and mounted police, 
was sent to the scene of disturbances, and succeeded in 
inducing Kreli to suspend hostilities. When this was settled, 
the commission was informed by Gangelizwe, at a meeting 
which took place on the 30th of November 1872, that his 
offer of his country and his people to the British government 
had been made without sufBcient consideration and without 
the consent of pome of his principal subordinate chiefs, and 
that as there was considerable opposition to its being carried 
out he wished to withdraw it. As afterwards ascertained, it 
was Dalasiy who overruled the proposal of Gangelijswe to 
follow the example of Moshesh by placing himself under 
British" protection, 

Mr. Charles Brownlee then visited the territory occupied by 
the Galekas and tiie Tembus, On tho 20th of January 1873 
he met Kreli, who had sis thousand warriors with him, and 
persuaded him to send four delegates to Idutywa to meet 
Gangelizwe's representatives. The Tembu chief gladly sent 

1 868] Abandonment of the Trans kei. 59 

the same number of delegates, and Mr. Brownlee was able 
to induce them to make a formal declaration of peace, so that 
quietness was restored once more along the colonial border. 

The Fingos in their new settlement were not long in 
discovering that Captain Cobbe, who was stationed with 
them., was without any authority and could only give 
advice. The governor informed the resident that "it was 
essential to the successful working of the Transkeian 
settlement that the British officers employed there should be 
perfectly aware that they possessed no authority in the legal 
sense of the word derived from the British government, 
inasmuch as her Majesty's government had deliberately 
determined to relinquish the possession of that country. The 
authority of the British officers must therefore strictly 
speaking be derived altogether from the chiefs and people 
with whom they dwelt, and by whom any directions or advice 
they might give must be carried into effect. But although 
it was right that these officers should themselves correctly 
appreciate their position, it by no means followed that they 
should bring this circumstance prominently into notice, and 
thus lower their own influence in dealing with the people. 
Each of the tribes settled in the Transkei looked with more or 
less jealousy on the others, and each desired to retain the 
good-will of the British government. The leading men set 
a value on the allowances they received. The individuals 
composing each tribe had become alive to the benefits of an 
impartial administration, and had probably little desire to 
come under the uncontrolled power of their chiefs. All 
these influences would operate to sustain the authority of the 
British resident, and to enable him to procure the execution 
of orders given with discretion and with a due regard for 
the habits and prejudices of the people." 

This system gave very little satisfaction. The Fingos, who 
during their residence in the Cape Colony had made great 
strides towards civilisation, were now rapidly falling back into 
the habits of their ancestors. In the wars of Tshaka they had 
lost most of their chiefs, so that it was much less difficult for 

6o Abandonment of the TranskeL [1869 

them than for other Bantu to adopt European ideas. They 
were of various clans, and had no bond of union except the 
government of the white man, while they were surrounded 
by enemies always ready to pounce upon and destroy them. 
Their best men admitted their inability to form a government 
of their own, and were desirous of some better system than 
one in which the only means of coercion was the stoppage 
of a paltry allowance to the head of a kraal or letting 
loose the people of one village to plunder those of another. 

Captain Cobbe was withdrawn in May 1869, and after a 
short interval during which Mr Charles J. Levey was in 
charge of the office, Captain Matthew Blyth was appointed 
ringo agent. This officer, who was possessed of great 
ability as an administrator, soon became a real chief over 
the people, and arrested the downward movement among 
them. They submitted willingly to the authority which he 
assumed, and never thought of questioning his decisions. 
Under his firm, but benevolent, administration, the Fingos 
entered upon a career of great prosperity, and peace was 
undisturbed in their territory. 

When the office of British resident was abolished, Mr 
Thomas A. Cumming was stationed at Idutywa with the 
title of superintendent. The people of that district were 
refugees of various tribes, without any chief of high rank 
among them. Those who did not submit to be ruled by the 
superintendent were therefore in a state of anarchy for several 

In addition to the territory that was taken from the 
Xosas in 1858 and allotted to the Galekas in 1864 and to 
the emigrant Tembus and Fingos in 1865, a large extent 
of unoccupied land along the base of the Drakensberg or 
Kathlamba mountains was abandoned by the British govern- 
ment in 1864. It v/as part of the territory now termed 
Griqualand East, which is about seven thousand square 
miles or eighteen thousand square kilometres in extent, its 
boundaries being the Kathlamba range on the north-west, 
Tembuland on the south-west, the dividing line being the 

1844] Abandonment of the Trans kei. 61 

head waters of tli3 Umtata river and the watershed between 
the streams which flow into the Bashee and the Umzimvubu, 
Pondoland and the county of Alfred in Natal on the south- 
east, and the colony of l^atal on the north-east. No part 
of the territory is nearer the sea than thirty miles or 
forty-eight kilometres in a straight line. 

The soil of Griqualand East is in general fertile and 
covered with a rich carpeting of grass. Horses and horned 
cattle thrive as well as in the most favoured parts of South 
Africa, and the pasturage along the slopes of the Drakens- 
berg is particularly well adapted for sheep. Wheat grows 
in perfection, as does nearly every fruit, grain, and vegetable 
of the warmer part of the temperate zone. The lowest part 
of the territory, or the side nearest the sea, has an eleva- 
tion of not less than nine hundred metres above the ocean, 
and from this depression there is a constant upward incline 
until the great mountain wall is reached. The most elevated 
portions of Griqualand East are therefore so cold in winter 
that no Bantu ever cared to occupy them. Europeans find 
the climate as pleasant and healthy as any in the world, 
though, owing probably to the air being damper, chest 
diseases are more common than on the great plains of the 
interior. In the summer months, when the prevailing winds 
are from the ocean and when thunderstorms crather aloncj 
the mountains, the rainfall is usually considerable ; but there 
are occasional seasons of drought, never, however, equalling 
in duration those sometimes experienced in districts to the 

British ownership of the territory was based nominally 
on a cession made by the Pondo chief Faku, in reality it 
rested on the right of a civilised power to enforce order. 
Faku never had any authority in it, he never would have 
had a claim to a square metre of its soil if such a claim had 
not been given to him by Sir Peregrine Maitland in the 
treaty of 1844. At that time hardly anything was known 
by the colonial government of the political condition of the 
Bantu in the valley of the Umzinavubu. Along the lower 

62 Abandonment of the Transkei. \^^^^ 

course of the river the Pondo tribe was found by travellers 
and missionaries, and it was assumed that the whole region 
was under the jurisdiction of Faku, the paramount Pondo 

Faku was not slow in perceiving the advantages to be 
derived from an alliance with the Cape Colony. Tshaka 
and Dingan were dead, and the terrible Zulu power had 
been shattered, but he had many enemies still. A powerful 
friend at a safe distance was most desirable. He therefore 
accepted without hesitation the proposals made to him by 
Sir Peregrine Maitland's agents, ami affixed his mark to a 
treaty, in the twelfth clause of which he was acknowledged 
as paramount chief of the whole region between the Umtata 
and the Umzimkulu, from the Drakensberg to the sea. In 
the thirteenth clause the colonial ojovernment undertook to 
secure this territory to him against British subjects, but 
the rights of all petty chiefs and Bantu tribes residing in 
any part of it were to remain unaltered. As now known, 
the population of the country between the Umtata and 
the Umzimkula at that time consisted of 

(a) The Pondo tribe, occupying the banks of the 
Umziravubu for sixty or seventy kilometres upwards from 
the sea. These Pondos had lived there as long as their 
traditions of general events went back, which may have 
been a couple of hundred years, and though Zulu armies 
had swept off their stock and reduced them to great destitu- 
tion, they had managed to preserve their lives by retiring 
into mountain recesses and thickly - wooded ravines till the 
waves of invasion rolled over. In 1844 Faku was para- 
mount chief of the tribe, but practically governed only the 
eastern clans, as Ndamasi, his eldest son of the right hand 
house, ruled the clans on the western side of the river. 
Umqikela, the eldest son of the great house and conse- 
quently the heir to the paramount chieftainship, was still a 

(6) The Pondomsi tribe, living eastward of the Umtata, 
farther inland than the Pondos. This tribe had been 

1844J Abandoii7ne7it of the Transkei, 63 

independent as far back as its traditions went, and for many 
years had occupied the same position as it did in 1844. It 
was divided into two rival sections, well known in later 
times as those of the chiefs Umhlonhlo and Umditshwa. 

(c) The Bacas under the chief Ncapayi, who was then 
acting as regent during the minority of his brother. These 
people were the remnants of a northern tribe which had 
suffered greatly in the wars of Tshaka, and when driven 
from their own country had fled to the district they were 
occupying in 1844. They had of course no hereditary right 
to the ground there, but their claim to it was as good as 
could be set up by anyone else. 

(c?) The Xesibes, the remnant of a tribe that more than a 
century earlier had migrated from the northern part of the 
present colony of Natal and settled in a district near that 
in which they were then living east of the Umzimvubu. 
Tshaka drove them beyond the Umtata, but after his death 
they returned. The whole country had been in commotion, 
and there was hardly a clan in it that had not been 
displaced. The Xesibes, on recrossing the Umzimvubu, lived 
for a time a nomadic life, but at length took possession of 
a tract of land to which the Amanci clan of the Pondos had 
a claim, and thus a feud was originated between them. 

(e) A great number of little groups of refugees with 
different titles, an enumeration of which would only cause 
confusion. The Pondos, owing largely to the prestige gained 
by their alliance with the Cape Colony, have managed since 
that time to incorporate most of these clans. They were 
principally offshoots of the great tribe of the Abambo, that 
once occupied the northern part bf Natal. 

(/) Various refugee clans occupying the tract of land 
between the Uratamvuna and Umzimkulu rivers. The 
district in which these people lived was annexed to the 
colony of Natal in 1864. 

{g) A number of Bushmen roaming over the otherwise 
uninhabited territory along the base of the Drakensberg or 

64 Abandonment of the T7'anskei. [1S50 

Among these various tribes and clans war was perpetually 
carried on. Somebody was always fancying the cattle or 
the cornfields of somebody else, or keeping alive ancient 
feuds by burning kraals and slaughtering opponents. Com- 
binations among the various sections of the community were 
continually changing, so that it is not only wearisome to 
follow them through their quarrels, but it can serve no good 
purpose to do so. The Pondos were far the most numerous of 
any one party, but they could not reduce the Pondomsis, the 
Bacas, or the Xesibes to subjection. As for Faku, he gained 
the reputation, which he kept to the day of his death, of 
being a faithful ally of the British government, which being 
interpreted means that he was always ready to fall upon 
the Xosas and Tembus when the Cape Colony was at war 
with them, and stock his kraals with oxen and cows at their 

In one respect the Maitland treaty pressed heavily upon 
the Pondo chief. The Natal government maintained that 
as he was the paramount ruler of all the people living in 
the country along their south-western border, he was bound 
to prevent stock-lifting by his subjects, and when the 
Bushmen of the uplands committed depredations he was 
held responsible and compelled to make good the loss. In 
1850 his nominal dignity cost him in this way a thousand head 
of cattle, the whole spoil of a raid upon his neighbours' 
kraals. Naturally this irritated him, and while smarting 
under the loss of his oxen he sent word to Maritzburg that 
he had not asked for the upper country, Sir Peregrine 
Maitland had forced it upon him, and rather than be held 
accountable for the misdeeds of its inhabitants he would 
prefer to see the Natal government taking possession and 
directly ruling the people in it. 

Upon this Mr. Walter Harding was sent to Faku's 
residence to arrange matters with him, and on the 11th of 
April 1850 a treaty as formal as that of 1844 was drawn up 
in writing and received the mark of the chief, by which the 
boundary between Natal and Pondoland was declared to be 

i86i] Abandonnient of the TranskeL 65 

the Umtamvuna river from its mouth up to its westernmost 
source, and thence a straight line continued to the Kath- 
lamba mountains. This treaty was not acted upon, however, 
nor was it ever ratified by the high commissioner, and 
shortly after it was arranged, when the lieutenant-governor 
of Natal restored six hundred of the cattle and the remem- 
brance of the penalty attached to his dignity was less 
distinct, the chief wished to withdraw from it ; but from 
that time forward it was admitted that the twelfth clause 
of the Maitland treaty could not be carried out. 

Sir George Grey looked upon the tract along the base of 
the Kathlamba as waste land at his disposal as the highest 
authority in South Africa. After the war between the 
Basuto and the Free State in 1858, he was desirous of 
locating there some of the restless clans whose presence on 
the Basuto frontier was a permanent hindrance to the 
establishment of order. His plan was, however, frustrated 
by an exceedingly clever movement of Nehemiah Moshesh, 
who under his father's directions hastened across the 
Drakensberg with a few followers, and located himself on 
the head waters of the Umzimvubu before the others could 
be got away. Nehemiah's presence there prevented the 
settlement of his father's opponents, who would have 
established a rival Basuto power in Nomansland, as the 
country below the Drakensberg had now come to be termed. 
It led also to the claim which in later times the Basuto 
chiefs set up to the present district of Matatiele as part of 
their country. At first the most persevering efforts were 
made by Nehemiah to obtain Sir George Grey's recognition 
of his right to the land there, and when these failed, the 
old chief Moshesh advanced a claim on the ground of a 
cession of the district to him by Faku. But the claim was 
never recognised by any British authority, and a commission 
that investigated it in 1875 came to a decision adverse to 
the Basuto pretensions. 

Sir George Grey also proposed to remove the Griqua 
captain Adam Kok from the district of Philippolis, north of 

TOL. lY. F 

66 Abandonment of the Transkei. [1861 

the Orange river, to a part of Nomansland. Early in 1861 
he determined to pay a visit in person to the country 
between the Umtata and the Umzimkulu, to make arrange- 
ments for the location of the Griquas in the uplands, and to 
ascertain for himself the cause of the constant commotions 
in the inhabited parts, so that he might be able to devise a 
remedy. But he fell ill at King-Williamstown, and therefore 
sent Sir Walter Currie in his stead. As a preliminary step 
that gentleman paid a visit to Faku. The reverend Thomas 
Jenkins, a Wesleyan missionary who possessed the confidence 
of the Pondo chief, was present at the interview, as were 
also the great counsellors of the tribe. Faku asserted his 
personal desire for peace, and accused his enemies of being 
the cause of the disturbances. He thought the colonial 
government would be able to keep them in better order 
than he could, and he therefore offered to cede the whole 
country between the Drakensberg and a line which he 
named, extending from the Umtata to the Umzimkulu, upon 
condition of the British authorities exercising direct rule 
over it. 

It was a very politic offer, this of the clever Pondo chief. 
For years he had been vainly endeavouring to reduce his 
enemies to subjection, and now he proposed to hand most 
of them over to the colonial government to be kept quiet, 
while he crushed or absorbed the rest. This is not the 
light in which the proposed cession was regarded by the 
British authorities, but there can be no doubt of its being 
Faku's secret view. The line would leave him more land 
than he ever actually had under his control before, and it 
would leave his enemies within it entirely at his mercy. 
That the offer thus made in March 1861, though considered 
by the colonial government thenceforth as binding upon the 
Pondos, was not acted upon at once was no fault of Faku, 
Sir Walter Currie went carefully over the proposed line, 
and visited the chiefs living northwest of it. He found 
each of them professing a desire for peace and endeavouring 
to throw the blame of the disturbances upon some of the 

1863] Abandonment of the Transkei, 6j 

others. All expressed a wish to be taken under the 
protection of the colonial government, and a willingness 
to receive magistrates. 

It 1863 Sir Philip Wodehouse located Adam Kok's Griquas 
in that part of Nomansland east of the Umzimvubu which 
is now comprised in the districts of Kokstad and Umzimkulu. 
It is from them that the whole territory has since been 
termed Griqualand East. The Natal government pressed its 
claim to the land ceded to it by Faku in April 1850, and 
a meeting was arranged between Sir Walter Currie and 
Dr. Sutherland, the surveyor-general of Natal, to define 
clearly the western boundary of that colony. The meeting 
took place on the 1st of March 1862. Dr. Sutherland claimed 
a line from the source of the Umtamvuna to the source of 
the Tina, which would have taken in a large portion of 
the unoccupied territory and not have left sufficient ground 
on which to locate the Griquas, but to this Sir Walter Currie 
would not consent. They could not come to an agreement, 
and the high commissioner then ignored the Natal claim 
and fixed the boundary where it is at present. 

The object of placing the Griquas there was to establish 
in Nomansland a power, acting under British prestige, believed 
to be sufficiently civilised to set a good example and 
sufficiently strong to maintain order. But the scheme was 
an utter failure, and in a few years Adam Kok was obliged 
to ask that a British resident should be stationed in the 
country to endeavour to keep the different sections of the 
inhabitants from exterminating each other. 

Kok was able to perform one, service, however, in driving 
Nehemiah Moshesh out of the country. That individual 
had been doing his utmost to extend Basuto influence. When 
the Griquas left Philippolis they moved into Basutoland, 
where they remained nearly two years before they crossed 
the Drakensberg. Old Moshesh was desirous that Kok 
should settle in Nomansland as his vassal, and as the 
Griqua captain would not do so, Nehemiah was strengthened 
for the purpose of annoying him. The Basuto managed to 

68 Abandonnient of the Tra^iskeu [1869 

plunder the Griquas of a good many cattle, but ultimately 
Nehemiah and his robber band were attacked and compelled 
to recross the Drakensberg. 

The wars which began in 1865 between the Basuto and the 
Orange Free State drove a considerable number of people 
into Nomansland. In 1867 the Monaheng clan under 
Lebenya abandoned Basutoland and crossed over the 
mountains into the waste country below. Another large 
clan followed under Makwai, the chief of highest rank in 
the house of Moshesh, when his stronghold was taken by the 
Free State forces. These served as centres of attraction, to 
which different small parties were subsequently drawn. 
There went also over from the Wittebergen reserve, now the 
district of Herschel, the Batlokua clan under the chief 
Lehana, son of the celebrated Sikonyela, the lifelong enemy 
of Moshesh. In March 1869, just after the convention of 
A.liwal North was arranged, Sir Philip Wodehouse crossed 
over into Nomansland, taking with him from Herschel the 
Hlubi chief Zibi, grandson of Umpangazita, with his clan. 
Another section of the Hlubi tribe, under the chief Ludidi, a 
younger brother of Langalibalele, had been resident in the 
country some years. To all the recent immigrants the high 
commissioner gave tracts of land along the base of the 
Drakensberg. Makwai he placed under Adam Kok, and ex- 
tended the Griqua district westward to the Kenigha river, 
thus including in it the w^hole of Matatiele. Lebenya and 
Zibi he placed together, giving them the ground from the 
Kenigha to the Tina, without laying down any boundary 
between them. The land between the Tina and the Eland's 
river he gave to Lehana. 

In January 1872 a commission, consisting of Messrs. C. D. 
Griffith, governor's agent in Basutoland, James Aylifi, resident 
magistrate of Wodehouse, and J. Murray Grant, inspector of 
the frontier armed and mounted police, was appointed to 
investigate the cause of the constant dissensions in Nomans- 
land and to arrange boundaries between the various tribes 
and clans. 

1872] Abandonment of the Transkei. 69 

The commission found the country in a state of ahnost 
indescribable confusion. Everywhere traces of burnt kraals 
and devastated gardens were to be seen, while there was 
hardly a clan that did not regard its neighbours as its 
enemies. Most of them, however, seemed wear}^ of war and 
willing to submit to a controlling power. These asked that 
the Cape colonial government should assume authority over 
them all, by sending magistrates into the country, in which 
case they promised to pay hut tax. The chiefs who made 
this request were Makaula, son of Ncapayi, of the Bacas, 
Umhlonhlo, of the Pondomsis, Lehana, of the Batlokua, 
Lebenya, of the Basuto, Ludidi and Zibi, of the Hlubis, and 
Jojo, of the Xesibes. The last named was on the Pondo side 
of the line named by Fakn, all the others were within 
Nomansland. Umditshwa held aloof from the commission. 

Umqikela, who on the 29th of October 1867 had succeeded 
Faku as paramount chief of the Pondos, objected to inter- 
ference in the territory west of the Umzimvubu, as he 
denied that any land on that side had been ceded by his 
father. The commission, however, recommended that the 
line described by Faku to Sir Walter Currie should be 
maintained, and the colonial government decided to adhere to 
it, as it had been recognised ever since 1861. 

Some boundaries were laid down and some promises to 
keep the peace obtained, but the commission could do little 
beyond reporting the condition of affairs. The conclusion it 
arrived at was embodied in a recommendation that Nomans- 
land should be brought under British authority, and that 
magistrates should be appointed to exercise jurisdiction over 
the people. 

This was the condition of matters in the abandoned 
territory at the close of 1872, and it shows how disastrous 
to South Africa was the mistaken policy of the time. Twenty 
thousand Europeans could easily have been provided with 
homes on land that had been allotted to barbarians. 



COMMISSIONER — {continued). 

With the abandonment of the Transkeian territory the 
expansion of British Kaffraria was no longer possible, and its 
area was too small and its Eiiropean population too few in 
number to maintain an independent government, still the 
majority of its white inhabitants were as much opposed to its 
incorporation with the Cape Colony as ever. They believed 
that as a crown colony Great Britain must continue to pro- 
tect them, whereas if they were absorbed by the Cape Colony 
the probabilities were that the imperial troops would be 
withdrawn, and now that a great number of Bantu were 
massed on their border, their position was more dangerous 
than before. 

In September 1864 Sir Philip Wodehouse visited King- 
Williamstown, , when a deputation from the inhabitants 
waited upon him and expressed their views to this effect. 
They reminded him of his promise that they should not be 
annexed without their consent, and they asked him to 
endeavour to procure the establishment of a legislative 
council in the province. He replied admitting his promise, 
but pointing out the deficiency in the revenue and the dis- 
inclination of the imperial government to make further 
grants, and held out no expectation that, their views would 
be supported in England. A minority of the people in the 
province, led by Mr. — later Sir — J. Gordon Sprigg, seeing no 
prospect of successful resistance and realising that a British 
dependency unable to pay its civil servants, much less to 
carry out any public works, was an anomaly, now declared 

1864] Annexation of British Kaffraria. 71 

in favour of anuexation and an attempt to obtain responsible 
government for the united colony. On the 10th of 
September a meeting was held at the village of Maclean, 
when a memorial to the high commissioner was drawn up 
and signed by one hundred and forty-five persons in favour 
of incorporation with the Cape Colony. 

In February 18G4 the whole of the convicts in British 
Kafi*raria were sent to East London, where they were 
employed thereafter for some time in constructing a sea wall 
on the eastern side of the mouth of the Buffalo river. It was 
the cheapest way of employing them, which was the principal 
object in view, as the harbour works were very slightly 
advanced by their labour. 

In December 1864 the popular lieutenant - governor, 
Lieutenant-Colonel John Maclean, was transferred to Natal, 
very much to the regret of the inhabitants, European and 
Bantu alike, all of whom held him in the highest esteem. 
On the 24th of that month Mr. Robert Graham, civil com- 
missioner of Albany, succeeded him, with the title of 
governor's deputy. 

On the 13th of July 1864 the governor informed the 
secretary of state that both the colonies opposed union 
because they wished the responsibility for the protection of 
British Kaffraria to remain with the British government, 
and he suggested that the best way to bring it about would 
be by an act of the imperial parliament. This was approved 
of, and on the 14th of December he forwarded the draft of 
a bill for the purpose. Mr. Cardwell promised to bring it 
before parliament, as he desired annexation in order that 
the British treasurj^ might be relieved of expense. 

The imperial act was passed, but was only to come in 
force in case the Cape parliament should refuse to annex 
the little colony of its own accord. It provided that " if 
the parliament of the Cape of Good Hope makes provision 
for the incorporation of British Kaffraria, which they are 
hereby empowered to do, find the governor of the Cape of 
Good Hope, as governor of British Kaffraria, assents to such 

J^ History of the Cape Colony. [^^65 

provision by an instrument under his hand and under the 
seal of British Kaffraria, then from and after the date of 
such assent British Kaffraria shall become incorporated with 
the Cape of Good Hope on the terms of such provision for 
all purposes whatever, as if it had always formed^ part of 
the Cape of Good Hope." It gave four members in the 
house of assembly for two new constituencies into which 
British Kaffraria was to be divided, and as the members 
representing the eastern province of the existing Cape 
Colony believed that these would of necessity be ranged on 
their side, it was regarded as a menace by the west. 

Armed with this act, Sir Philip Wodehouse opened parlia- 
ment in Capetown on the 27th of April 1865. In his 
address he stated that the imperial authorities were stead- 
fastly opposed to the extension of European occupation, but 
that he hoped to obtain the Tambookie location within the 
borders of the colony for settlement by farmers. As parlia- 
ment in 1862 declined to sanction the annexation of British 
Kaffraria, he had applied to the imperial parliament to pass 
an act for that purpose, which had been done. Bills would, 
however, be introduced to enable the Cape parliament to 
effect the annexation itself, and also to increase the number 
of representatives in both houses. 

On the 16th of May the bills alluded to were brought before 
the house of assembly by the colonial secretary, and were 
read the first time. It was proposed in one of them to 
increase the members of the legislative council to twenty- 
two and of the house of assembly to sixty-two. Thereupon 
Mr. Solomon gave notice of his intention to bring forward 
a resolution protesting against the unconstitutional and unjust 
deed of the imperial parliament in passing the annexation 
act now held in terrorem over the Cape., 

Accordingly on the 22nd of May he moved, and Mr. 
Molteno seconded, a resolution of great length to that effect. 
Mr. Ruth erf oord moved, and Mr. Manuel seconded, an 
amendment modifying some of the expressions, but retaining 
the full sense of Mr. Solomon's motion, and after a brief 

tS65] Annexation of British Kaffraria. 73 

discussion, in which the opinion was freely expressed that a 
parliament in the colony was a mere deceptive sham if it 
could be subjected to such "arbitrary interference" in a 
matter of the greatest importance, on the 23rd the amendment 
was carried without a division. It ended with the following 
paragraphs : — 

" This house is further of opinion that the course adopted by Sir P. 
E. Wodehouse in reference to the annexation and native questions 
generally, as illustrated by the papers upon these subjects now before 
the house, is one calculated to deprive him of that degree of the 
confidence of this house and of the country, which is so essential to the 
proper conduct of affairs in a colony in which representative institutions 
have been established. 

" That for these reasons, whilst giving no opinion upon the expediency 
or otherwise of the incorporation of British Kaffraria with this colony, 
this house, on behalf of the people of this colony, protests, as it hereby 
does protest, against this arbitrary act of the imperial parliament, 
prompted, avowedly, by a desire to throw upon this colony the whole or 
a largely increased portion of the expense and burden of the measures 
for the military defence of the crown colony of British Kaffraria, over 
which measures, as well as over the policy pursued towards the native 
tribes beyond our frontier, which are entirely in the hands of her Majesty's 
high commissioner, this parliament has not exercised, and cannot exercise, 
any control, and for which it is not, and ought not to be held, in any way 
responsible. And this house further protests against this colony being held 
responsible for any larger portion of the expense of frontier defence than 
it nov/ bears in consequence of the incorporation of British Kaffraria which 
has been forced upon it. And this house protests against the fact of its 
legislating on the subject being taken to imply its concurrence in that 
act, or its admission that the imperial parliament was justified, under the 
circumstances, to exercise its paramount authority in the way that it 
has done." 

The struggle between the western and the eastern 
members began with a motion tb amalgamate the KafFrarian 
annexation bill and the additional representation bill brought 
in by the government. The easterns naturally wished the 
annexation bill to be carried, which they believed would 
give them four more votes, and the additional representation 
bill, which would keep the number of members of the two 
provinces in the same proportion as it then was, to be 
throv7n out. Most of the midland members, however, 
seemed more apprehensive of eastern than of western 

74 History of the Cape Colony. [^^^5 

domination, and the bills were therefore amalgamated by 
twenty votes against eleven and on the 30th of May were 
read for the first time in the house of assembly in that 

On the 2nd of June the amalgamated bill passed its 
second reading by twenty - one votes to ten, but on the 
29th, when it was to have come before the assembly as a 
committee, the debates were so animated and the opposition 
of the eastern members was so determined that the house 
sat through the whole night and did not rise until eleven 
o'clock in the morning of the 30th. The opposition, which 
now degenerated into simple obstruction, was continued 
until the 19th of July, when at last the bill reached the 
committee stage. 

On the 4th of August, when it came on for the third 
reading, the eastern members, rather than be defeated on a 
division, left the house in a body. It was therefore carried, 
and on the 9th it came before the legislative council. There 
the opposition was even stronger than in the assembly, and 
was continued with hardly any respite until the 14th of 
September, when the bill passed its third reading by seven 
votes against six. The eastern members — the honourable 
Messrs. Robert Godlonton, George Wood, William Cock, 
Charles Pote, Samuel Cawood, and Henry Tucker — even 
then did not cease their opposition. They at once handed 
in a protest against the enactment of the bill, which was 
entered on the minutes, but of course had no effect. 

On the 10th of October parliament was prorogued, after 
the longest and stormiest session yet known, and among 
other acts assented to on behalf of the crown was the one 
annexing British KafFraria to the Cape Colony. 

It provided that as soon as the governor of British 
KafFraria should pass an ordinance dividing that colony into 
two electoral divisions, and should proclaim in the Gazette 
the names of the members returned to the house of 
assembly for those divisions, the incorporation should be 
complete. For the election of members of the legislative 

1 866] A7mexation of British Kaff^-aria. 75 

council, the two new divisions were to form part of the 
eastern province. The supreme court of British KafFraria 
was abolished, and the eastern districts court was sub- 
stituted for it, but the office for the registry of deeds 
remained as it was. The number of members of the 
legislative council was increased to twenty-one by adding 
three for the eastern and three for the western province, 
and of the house of assembly to sixty-six by creating, in 
addition to the two Kaffrarian divisions, the new divisions 
of Aliwal North, Namaqualand, Oudtshoorn, Piketberg, 
Richmond, Riversdale, Queenstown, and Victoria West, each 
to return two representatives. 

On the 23rd of November an ordinance was issued by 
Sir Philip Wodehouse, as governor of British Kaffraria, 
dividing that territory into the two magisterial and fiscal 
districts of King-Williamstown and East London, each of 
which was to be an electoral division. A registration of 
qualified voters then took place, and courts were held for 
the nomination of members of the house of assembly. On 
the 5th of April 1866 the elections took place, when Mr. 
Joseph Walker and Dr. James Peters were returned for 
King - Williamstown, and Messrs. William Bell and Henry 
Sparks for East London. In King-Williamstown only one 
hundred and twenty-two voters went to the poll. On the 
l7th of April a proclamation was issued by the governor 
announcing the names of the members, and that all the 
preliminaries required by the annexation act being now 
completed, the two new districts previously forming British 
Kaffraria were incorporated with the Cape Colony. 

On the same day, Mr. Simeon Jacobs, the attorney-general 
of British Kaffraria, was appointed solicitor - general, and 
forthwith went to reside in Grahamstown. The judge, Mr. 
James Coleman Fitzpatrick, was appointed a member of the 
supreme court, and on the 13th of August replaced Mr. 
Justice Connor as one of the judges of the eastern districts 
court, Mr. Petrus Johannes Denyssen being the other. Mr. 
Richard Taylor remained at King- Williamstown as civil 

76 History of the Cape Colony. [1866 

commissioner and resident magistrate, and Mr. Matthew 
Jennings remained at East London in the same capacity. 
Mr. Joseph Walker having resigned his seat, Mr. — later Sir 
— Charles Abercrombie Smith in August succeeded him as 
member of the house of assembly for King-Williamstown. 
Dr. Peters, the other member first elected, did not trouble 
himself to attend the next session, and consequently his seat 
was declared vacant. Mr. — afterwards Sir — Charles Mills, 
a gentleman of great ability who in later years became 
agent-general for the colony in England, was then, in April 
1867, elected in his stead. 

A proclamation was issued on the 17th of April 1866 
directing the election of the six new members of the legisla- 
tive council, and Messrs. John Centlivres Chase, Dennis 
Harper Kennelly, and Richard Joseph Painter were returned 
unopposed for the eastern districts, little or no interest 
being taken in the matter by the Kaffrarian electors. 

From the commencement of 1866 the trade returns 
through East London are included in those of the Cape 
Colony. Previous to that time they were : imports, 1862 
£127,857, 1863 £152,377, 1864 £105,371, and 1865 £78,349 ; 
exports, 1862 £43,873, 1863 £24,882, 1864 £31,141, and 1865 
£28,928. The population at the time of the annexation 
amounted to : Europeans 8,200, Bantu 81,000. 

Wednesday the 17th of May 1865 was marked by one of 
the most violent storms known in Table Bay since the 
beginning of the century. A terrific gale from the north- 
west set in during the night of the 16th, and increased as 
the day wore on, driving enormous billows before it, and 
heaping up the water in the bay. There were three 
steamers — the Athens, the DauBy and the Briton, all 
belonging to the Union Company — and twenty-five sea-going 
sailing vessels at anchor at ten o'clock in the morning, 
besides a large number of cargo and other boats moored 
near the shore. Early in the morning some of the vessels 
signalled that ihQj needed additional cables and anchors, 
and as very large sums were offered by their agents, some 

1865] Sir Philip Wodehouse. yy 

of those adventurous and skilful boatmen for whom Table 
Bay was tlien famous ventured to try to convey an anchor 
and cable to one of the ships, but when close along.side 
their boat was swamped, and twelve men lost their lives. 
The first officer of the Athens put off in a lifeboat with 
four volunteers from his ship as a crew to try to rescue 
the meUj but when passing under the stern of the Dane 
his boat was capsized and one of her crew was drowned. 
The officer and the remainder of the crew managed to 
grasp ropes flung to them from the Dane, and were hauled 
on board that vessel alive. 

During the day the barques Star of the West, Alacrity, 
Deane, Frederick Bassil, Royal Arthur, and Royal Minstrel, 
the brigs Galatea and Jane, the brigantine Maria Johanna, 
the schooners Clipper, Fernande, Figilante, Isabel, Kehr- 
weider, and Benjamin Miller, the cutter Gem, and about 
thirty cargo and other boats parted their cables and were 
driven ashore between the castle and the mouth of Salt 
River. Their crews were all rescued, but many of them 
saved nothing except their lives. 

Just after sunset the barque City of Peterborough parted 
her cables and struck on the Sceptre reef, where the cries 
of the unfortunate people on board could be heard from 
the shore, but no assistance could be rendered. Captain 
Wright had his wife and child with him, and there were 
twelve officers and seamen on board, fifteen souls in all. 
The night was so pitchy dark that the wreck could not 
be seen, but for an hour or so cries were heard, and then 
all was still but the roaring of the gale and the beating 
of the mountain waves on the shore. In the morning 
not a vestige of the wreck was to be seen, and it became 
certain that all on board had perished. 

The Athens, Dane, and Briton had their steam up, which 
partly relieved the strain on their cables, but a little before 
six o'clock in the evening, as night was setting in, the last 
cable of the Athens snapped. She was to have left for 
Mauritius on the following day, but none of the passengers 

yS History of the Cape Colony. [1^65 

had gone on board. Her first officer was in the Bane, and 
the second and third were on shore on leave. When her 
cable parted she tried to stand out to sea under full steam, 
and as lonof as she could be seen she was makinor some little 
headway. Whether her machinery broke down, or whether 
her fires were put out by the great seas that broke over 
her, is not known ; but about seven o'clock she struck on 
the rocks at Mouille Point. People gathered quickly on the 
shore, but it was impossible to rescue the doomed crew. 
Their shouts were heard for more than two hours, and then 
the Athens went to pieces. Captain Smith, Dr. Curtis, and 
twenty - eight firemen, seamen, and others who formed her 
crew perished. 

The Dane, the Briton, and eight sailing vessels rode out 
the gale, but most of them were badly damaged. The 
Galatea, the Jane, the Frederick Bassil, and the Geon were 
got afloat again, and were repaired : all the others were 
total wrecks. 

The Dane was lost some months later. She left Table 
Bay for Zanzibar, and at four o'clock in the afternoon of 
the 1st of December ran on a previously unknown reef about 
three kilometres and a half from the shore near Cape 
Recife. She broke up at once, but all on board got safely 
to land. 

On the l7th of Ma}^, the day of the great gale in Table 
Bay, the pretty village of Swellendam was almost destroyed 
by fire. About two o'clock in the afternoon a building was 
seen to be alight, and as a perfect hurricane was blowing, 
the flames spread very rapidly. The public offices, the 
Wesley an chapel, the bank, the office of the Overberg 
Courant, several stores, the telegraph office, and over forty 
dwelling houses were burned to the ground. Towards 
evening very heavy rain set in, or even more damage 
would have been done. 

The relief works at Tulbagh Kloof were stopped in 
October 1865, as there were no funds available to carry 
them on. The severe drought from which the country had 

1 866] Sir Philip W ode house. 79 

suffered so long still continued, so that employment was not 
to be had on farms, and the distressed labourers were 
therefore obliged to betake themselves to the towns and 
villages, where private benevolence was heavily taxed to 
prevent actual starvation. The colony had passed through 
periods of depression before, but never through one of such 
intensity or long duration. 

The pressure of hunger was felt by the Bantu as well as 
by the other inhabitants, and cattle thefts increased to such 
an extent that the frontier farmers were almost driven to 
desperation. In the district of King-Williamstown a number 
of persons formed themselves into a "mutual protection 
association," but on the first occasion of exercising the 
power which they assumed, a retaliatory raid upon the 
kraal of the petty chief Umjusa, in which a little property 
was destroyed and two or three individuals were slightly 
hurt, several of them got into serious trouble for con- 
travening the law. They were sent to Port Elizabeth for 
trial, on the ground that public opinion on the frontier was 
so strong in their favour that no jury would bring in a 
verdict against them. At Port Elizabeth they were acquitted, 
but the association was brought to an end. The leading 
member of it, a man of ability who had once been an 
ofiicer in the British German legion, became in later years 
a cabinet minister of the Cape Colony. 

On the 6th of September 1866 parliament met in Gape- 
town. The delay caused by the carrying out of the British 
Kaffraria annexation act and the subsequent election of new 
members for both houses had prevented its opening sooner. 
The elections had largely turned upon the question of 
responsible government, those who favoured that measure 
, being convinced that the governor's action must have 
increased the desire for the change they advocated, but the 
east was still firmly opposed to it, and it was certain that 
a motion for its introduction would be outvoted, so it was 
not brought on. The government was in a more unfavour- 
able position than it had ever been before. The highly 

8o History of the Cape Colony, [1866 

talented, liberal, and courteous attorney-general, Mr. William 
Porter, who had on many occasions smoothed away differ- 
ences by his conciliatory address, had retired from office, and 
on the 20t,h of March 1866 had been succeeded by Mr. 
William Downes Griffith, whose manners and speeches were 
irritating and conducive of opposition. The session was 
hardly opened when the loss of Mr. Porter began to be 
felt by all parties in parliament, as well as by the 

In his opening speech the governor stated that the public 
expenditure during the past year had exceeded the revenue 
by £94,600. He reminded the members that the outlay 
had been greatly increased since 1854 by the action of 
parliament, and that the tendency would necessarily be 
towards still further enlargement. Since that date sixteen 
new seats of magistracy had been created, the eastern 
districts court and many periodical courts had been established, 
prisons had been erected all over the colony, the hospitals 
had been improved, the frontier police had been increased, 
the educational system had been developed, telegraphs had 
been subsidised, and much more had been done. The postal 
department cost £17,000 a year more than it did then, 
education £15,000, hospitals £14,000, police and jails £21,000, 
divisional courts £18,000, and the frontier mounted police 
£11,000. But since 1854 the wealth of the country, as 
shown by its exports, had more than trebled, so that the 
increase of expenditure was fully justified. He proposed to 
borrow £200,000 for five years at six per cent annual interest, 
to revise the customs duties to make them more productive, 
and to levy duties on exports for five years. To relieve the 
distress among the labouring classes and to prevent the 
crime then so prevalent owing to that distress, he proposed 
that the government should construct a railway from 
Wellington to Worcester in the west, and from Port 
Elizabeth towards Grahamstown in the east. 

Parliament would not entertain the governor's proposal of 
a duty on exports nor sanction the construction of the 

1 866] Sir Philip Wode house. 8i 

railways named. They passed bills to raise £250,000 on loan 
to pay unsecured debts and meet the current deficiency in 
the revenue, and they determined to reduce expenses to such 
an extent as to equalise the revenue and the expenditure 
without further taxation. The colonists, they declared, were 
quite unable to bear any new imposts. Already the farmers 
were crying out against the excessive taxes which they were 
obliged to pay, and some of them were moving to the 
republics as the only means of obtaining relief. To lay 
heavier burdens upon them would merely promote emigration, 
so that the revenue w^ould be diminished instead of being 
enlarged. A retrenchment committee was appointed by the 
house of assembly, whi^h took evidence and prepared a 
report in favour of abolishing several departments altogether, 
and cutting down others greatly. This report was adopted, 
and the governor was requested to frame the estimates for 
the coming year in accordance with it. 

On the 28th of December the estimates were sent in, 
which showed a reduction of only a little more than £20,000 
under those of the previous year. They were accompanied 
by a message in which the governor announced that he was 
opposed to retrenchment on the scale laid down, that he 
favoured strict economy, but held that with the growth of 
the colony and the advancement of its commerce and 
agriculture increased institutions were necessary. The 
reductions made in the estimates were chiefly in the 
expenses of parliament itself and in the abolition of a 
number of magistrates' courts, which irritated the members 
so greatly that they would not even discuss the matter. 
Instead of doing so, they requested that an appropriation 
bill for six months should be sent in, which was done on 
the following day. 

There was no possibility of reconciling the conflicting 
views, so after supplies were voted to enable the administra- 
tion to be carried on for the next half year, on the 12th of 
January 1867 parliament was prorogued. In the preceding 
session a vote of censure had been passed upon the governor, 


82 History of the Cape Colony, [1S67 

it was his turn now, and he retorted in fall measure, as his 
closing speech will show : 

" I have requested your attendance here this day from the conviction 
that the public interests will not derive any advantage from the pro- 
longation of the present session of parliament. 

"It has been usual on all such occasions for the head of the govern- 
ment to pass some observations on the principal occurrences of the 
session, and in the name of the colony to recognise the services rendered 
by the two houses of parliament. And I have carefully considered what 
course I ought now to take. 

"When the session opened, and it became my duty to put before you 
the position of aflairs and the policy which the government proposed 
for your adoption, there was the greatest need for a calm and patient 
discussion of it, and for the application of sound but vigorous remedies. 
In that explanation I endeavoured, to the extent of my ability, to avoid 
the use of language which would cause irritation or annoyance in any 
quarter, or could oppose obstacles to the satisfactory progress of the 
business of the session. I do not now wish to conceal my regret that 
the session should have proved so unproductive of good measures, and 
that so very little has been done to improve our position. 

" But one of the consequences of this failure is that I shall very 
shortly be obliged to request your attendance again in parliament. It 
will therefore be well for us, instead of dwelling with regret on the past, 
to turn our thoughts to an improvement of the future. It would be im- 
possible for me at this moment to review the transactions of the session 
without using arguments and giving utterance to opinions that must 
inevitably be unacceptable to some of those to whom they must be 
addressed. A few months hence the recollection of these events will 
be less prominent, fresh occurrences Avill occupy our attention, and we 
may be able again to enter on our labours in charity and harmony, and 
anxious, above all, that the fruits of the new session may be a full 
compensation for the unprofitableness of that now closing." 

In this session Mr. Solomon again endeavoured to conduct 
a bill through parliament for the abolition of state grants to 
various churches in the colony, which carried with them the 
appointment of the clergymen by the government. The 
feeling in favour of this measure had been growing of late 
years, but was not yet sufi&ciently strong to command a 
majority in parliament. On the 11th of October, after a 
lengthy but temperate discussion, the bill was thrown out 
in the house of assembly by twenty - eight votes against 

' 1867] Sir Philip Wode house, t2> 

On the 6th of October 1866 the governor met with a sore 
domestic calamity in the death of Lady Wodehouse, after a 
prolonged and painful illness. Her remains were interred in 
St. Paul's churchyard at Rondebosoh. No other member of 
his family accompanied the governor to South Africa, so that 
he was now quite alone, and naturally much sympathy was 
felt with him in this time of trouble. 

In the year 1867 the distress in the colony reached the 
most acute point that it attained at any time during the 
nineteenth century. The drought continued, so that agri- 
cultural operations could not be carried on to any extent, 
and as a consequence commerce remained depressed. The 
rough labourers, consisting almost entirely of coloured people, 
who at the best of times put nothing by, were unable to 
obtain employment, and were therefore in a condition of 
great want. As customary in such cases, they crowded into 
the towns, where they could manage to exist better than in 
the country. 

Early in the year it was noticed that there was an 
unusual amount of sickness and a high rate of mortality in 
several districts of the colony, but more especially in certain 
streets in Capetown. It soon became evident that an 
epidemic of low fever was passing over, in which the death 
rate was fully one in five of persons attacked. Portions of 
the colony where there was no want of food escaped infection, 
but wherever coloured people were crowded closely together 
without sufficient sustenance, as at mission stations, in the 
large villages of the southwest, and in Capetown, the disease 
caused great havoc. During the five months from June to 
October 1867, when the fever was most prevalent, more 
than a thousand persons above the average number died in 
Capetown alone. 

The city was divided into twelve districts, in each of 
which the government maintained a medical officer and 
supplied medicine free of charge. The municipality appointed 
a special streetkeeper to each of these districts, whose duty 
it was to see that destitute sick persons were conveyed to 

84 History of the Cape Colony, [^^67 

the hospitals and to enforce cleanliness. A p^ang of labourers 
was employed to go round periodically, clear out the rooms 
in the worst streets, and whitewash the walls. The bene- 
volent societies united their resources, and opened soup 
kitchens in different localities, where soup and bread were 
distributed to those in want of food. Through these exertions 
the epidemic gradually abated in violence, though it was not 
thoroughly overcome before January 1868. 

In their report to the government, dated 31st of March 
1868, the medical committee stated that "as bearing with 
importance and significance on their theory that this epidemic 
fever was essentially induced by dirt and want, they desired 
to record the important facts : 1st, that in the military garrison 
of the town, numbering with its followers one thousand nine 
hundred and sixty persons, there were but two deaths from 
fever; 2nd, that in the convict barracks, with their nine 
hundred occupants, there were no cases at all ; 3rd, that at 
Robben Island, with its six hundred lepers, lunatics, and 
paupers, with their attendants, there were but two cases of 
the mildest kind ; as also, that in the less populated country 
parts of the Cape division, there did not appear to have 
been more than eight hundred cases, with some sixty deaths, 
in a population of not less than eighteen thousand people, 
very many of whom were poor and badly housed and fed." 

The number of Europeans attacked was much less than of 
coloured people, but as the races were in close contact with 
each other the white inhabitants were by no means immune. 
The medical ofiicers, hospital attendants, and visitors of the 
sick suffered very severely, and those low grade whites who 
consorted with blacks and lived with them in the filthy 
outskirts of the city fared no better than their coloured 
companions. At that time Capetown was poorl}^ provided 
with water, being dependent on the two old reservoirs only, 
and the people who resided in the higher portions of the 
city were unable, even if they had been willing, to obtain 
in the protracted drought more than barely sufficient for 
drinking and culinary purposes. To this circumstance, to 

1867] Sir Philip Wodehouse, 85 

some extent at least, the spread of the fever may have 
been due. 

In other parts of the colony the loss of life was consider- 
able, but nowhere else was it so great, in proportion to the 
number of inhabitants, as in Capetown. 

When parliament met, after a short recess, on the 13th of 
April 1867, the governor had nothing cheering to com- 
municate beyond his acceptance of the decision as to 
retrenchment and his willingness to give effect to it in 
detail to the best of his ability. He informed the members 
that in the estimates to be submitted to them he would 
propose to dispense with six of the civil commissioners and 
resident magistrates, besides a large number of other 
officials, but that the revenue and expenditure could not be 
equalised in this manner, and further taxation would there- 
fore be necessary. The deficiency in the estimates would 
be shown to be £59,129, and in addition to several taxing 
bills of minor importance a duty upon exports according to 
their value would be proposed to meet this. 

The governor was not altogether without supporters in 
his views, and since the last session an attempt had been 
made by some of these to show that a duty on exports 
would not weigh heavily upon the colonists and would 
check the tendency to remove to the republics then so 
prevalent. A considerable portion of the wool and skins 
sent away by sea came from the republics, so that the 
burden would be partly borne by people living there, and 
removal from the colony would not relieve the farmers 
from it. But such arguments had no effect upon the great 
body of the European inhabitants, who were firmly opposed 
to the levy of any duties upon South African produce, and 
who believed that the governor's proposal, if carried out, 
would merely divert the northern trade to Natal. This was 
the opinion, also, of a great majority of the members of 
parliament, who heard wuth regret that the governor 
intended to bring on again a measure that had been 
rejected before. It foreboded, they feared, another session 

86 History of the Cape Colony. [1^67 

as stormy as the last, though he stated that he would spare 
no pains to establish a good understanding. 

"It is objected, he said, that the export duty is a tax upon wool. For 
what do we now hold this country but for wool ? Take away wool, and 
in one locality copper, and, commercially speaking, what is left? The 
cost of governing this country is heavy, on account of its great extent 
and most scanty population. Year after year sheep farmers have gone 
in search of wealth into regions more and more remote. You have 
thought it right to follow them with posts, police, and magistracies, 
which they are now most desirous of retaining. Is it unjust that wool 
should pay, in some shape, for all that is done for it ? If you object on 
principle to an export duty, and believe that it will operate injuriously 
on the wool growers, irrespectively of the actual rate, by all means adopt 
other plans for obtaining the funds. We suggest this as the cheapest, 
most feasible, and best adapted to our circumstances," 

Following this, the governor made a statement which, in 
the distressed condition of the colony, created a feeling akin 
to consternation. He said : 

"You are aware that for several years it has been the determination 
of the parliament and government of the united kingdom to require of 
its colonial possessions a considerable contribution towards the mainten- 
ance of the garrisons provided out of its own population for their 
military defence, and you know that from time to time the principle 
has been acted upon in most of the chief colonies. In the session 
of 1865 I placed before you correspondence showing an intention to 
make such a demand upon you, as well as the arguments by which in 
December 1864 I had endeavoured to obtain a postponement of it. In 
July following I was informed by the secretary of state that, in 
deference to my opinion that a more unfavourable time could not be 
selected, he had abstained from pressing the subject upon me under the 
existing difficulties, but that I must distinctly understand that postpone- 
ment could not be of long duration, and that the whole subject of 
the military expenditure for the defence of the Cape must soon be 
carefully reviewed. 

"In December 1865 I privately represented to the secretary of state 
how ill able the colony still was to take up any additional burden 
on this account, and succeeded in obtaining , a further postponement. 
In October last I repeated that representation, but have been unsuc- 
cessful ; and perhaps it was unreasonable to expect that her Majesty's 
government, by making such an exception in our case, should expose 
themselves to just remonstrances from other colonies in whose case the 
principle had been fully enforced. 

" The purport of the instructions conveyed to me is as follows : there 
are in the South African command five infantry regiments, besides the 

1867] Sir Philip Wode house. 87 

Cape mounted rifles, in respect to which last I hare not received any 
directions. Of the five regiments, one will be immediately withdrawn, 
one will be considered as allotted to ISTatal and St. Helena, the 
remaining three will be regarded as the garrison of the Cape. And 
if the terms now proposed be accepted, during 1867 no charge will be 
made for any part of this force. In 1868 one regiment must be paid 
for at the rate of £40 per man, in 1869 two must be paid for at the 
same rate, and for the three following years payment must be made 
at the Australian rate for the whole force in the colony, namely £40 
for every infantry soldier and £70 for every artilleryman. In default 
of any of these payments, her Majesty's government will be at liberty 
to withdraw the troops, either wholly, or to such extent as they may 
judge expedient." 

After this announcement, which was felt by all the 

members as requiring from the colony a sum of money 

which it would be impossible under the existing circumstances 

to raise, with the alternative of leaving the frontier districts 

exposed to the ravages of tribes of barbarians that, much 

against the will of the European inhabitants, had been 

recently massed upon the border, the governor proceeded to 

set forth his plan for bringing the administration and the 

representatives of the people into harmony with each other. 

He said : 

"There is yet one other subject, but the most important of all, to which 
I wish on this occasion to call your attention, and in respect to which the 
remarks I am about to make, and the proposal I shall submit to you, must 
be accepted as emanating from the local government, and put forth 
exclusively on their responsibility. Whether the proposal find favour in 
your eyes, or whether you regard it as inadmissible, I hope you will receive 
it as prompted by a constant attention to your affairs and examination of 
your position, as well as by the conviction that at this crisis the government 
cannot consistently with its duty shrink from suggesting any measure 
calculated, in its opinion, to afford relief to the colony. I refer to the 
present constitution of the legislature of the colony. You will remember 
that in the course of last year a proposition was publicly mooted for the 
abolition of the legislative council. But I should be sorry if the proposal 
I am about to make were regarded in that light, or if we could be accused 
of desiring to drav/ a comparison between the merits of the two houses of 
parliament. On the contrary, I wish you dispassionately to consider 
whether one legislative chamber might not with advantage be substituted 
for the two now existing. I honestly believe that in the present state of 
the country, and with such a form of executive government as you now 
have, the scheme of representation by means of two houses constitutes an 
unnecessary burthen, pecuniary and general, on the people of *the colony. 

88 History of the Cape Colony. [1867 

No argument is necessary to establish its expense^ and in other respects the 
weight of it is almost equally self evident. In England, a seat in the house 
of commons is regarded as a mark of honourable distinction, and the right 
to take part in its proceedings is an enviable privilege. In this colony, on 
the contrary, members of parliament are invariably spoken of as those who 
submit t<^ heavy sacrifices for the public good. When a vacancy occurs, 
discussions always arise as to the probability of inducing eligible gentlemen 
to devote themselves to parliamentary business, and at the same time to 
submit to exclusion from political office. But it is not so much from con- 
sideration of the burthen as on other grounds that I hope you will give 
this proposal a patient examination. The executive government does not 
now possess the means of exercising that influence over the deliberations 
of parliament which is essential to good government. There is a 
constant tendency to resist our recommendations, unaccompanied by 
any indication in other quarters of a better general policy, still 
less of a power to exercise a steady and healthy control over the 
action of parliament. We have at all times opposed to us the common 
propensity of mankind to find fault with those in authority, the strong 
temptation to those out of ofiice to induce a belief in their superior abilities, 
unchecked by any responsibilities. We have nothing to counteract 
these influences. We have no prizes to offer to political talent and 
ambition. The greater the numbers of the two houses and the greater 
the difficulties in which the colony is placed, the stronger does the 
pressure on the government become, the less support does it receive. 
Possibly the introduction of responsible government might produce more 
unanimity of action. If it did not, the weakness and confusion would be 
greater than ever. 

" Again, I do not believe there is any prospect of this colony being 
governed in a manner calculated to promote the best interests of the 
people, unless means can be found for allaying that most pernicious 
political jealousy which divides the eastern and western provinces, and 
under the influence of which a member who lends himself to the hindrance 
of all useful business is held up to his constituents as meritoriously dis- 
charging the functions of their representative. If this pernicious spirit 
cannot be overcome, and that speedily, your condition must day by day 
become worse. The public looks to the government, and very properly, 
for the introduction of useful measures ; but the government itself is 
paralysed by the anticipation that its measures will fall to the ground, 
not so much from inherent defects as from the operation of provincial 
hostility. As a remedy, separation under existing circumstances re- 
commends itself less than at any former period. Removal of the seat 
of government is, I apprehend, equally improbable. But the occasional 
assembly of the legislature elsewhere than at Capetown is in itself very 
desirable, and may, if you think fit, be rendered easy of accomplishment. 
In 18d4, having accidental facilities in that year for so doing, I called 
til© parliament together at Grahamstown j and although I have been 

1867] Sir Philip Wo de house. 89 

astonished at the personal consequences to myself, conseqi?ences which 
might well deter me from making any similar attempt, I am neverthe- 
less satisfied that what was done then was right and proper, and that 
the welfare of the colony can best be assured by concessions of that 
nature, demanding the smallest sacrifice. Indeed, in making this pro- 
posal, I have no wish to keep out of view the fact that it includes 
concessions. I avow my desire to obtain now these most moderate con- 
cessions, as the means of delivering the colony from the present 
bickering, and perhaps of saving it from being at some future day 
divided into two discontented and weak communities. It may even be 
questioned whether the terra concession can be properly applied to an 
arrangement by means of which, and at no cost, the whole colony can 
obtain that good government and useful legislation which are now in a 
great degree beyond its reach. Moreover, it is in the eastern districts 
that the functions of government are more immediately called into 
action, and that the most difficult political questions present themselves 
for solution, and I have sometimes observed on the part of western 
members — I hope I may say it without offence — I have observed a 
disposition, when what are termed native questions have been under dis- 
cussion, to abdicate their proper functions, to abstain from a careful 
examination of the views or proposals of the government on their 
merits, and to set them aside in deference to the eastern members. 

"It is now, and whatever may be its form, it must ever be, one of 
the most important and at the same time most difficult duties of the 
executive government, to hold a just balance between the European 
and native races ; and that is, above all things, a matter in which it 
most especially needs the impartial and enlightened support and control 
of western members. If that control is to be wisely and beneficially 
exerted, it must be guided by personal acquaintance with the matters 
treated of, and with the people whose interests are at stake, an 
acquaintance which can scarcely be acquired without, at least, an 
occasional visit to that part of the colony. 

"It is manifest that the numbers of the two houses of parliament, 
as now constituted, present a most formidable impediment to the attain- 
ment of such advantages ; and it is for that and many other reasons 
that I venture to ask you to inquire whether better arrangements may 
not be made. 

' ' I would suggest that the colony should be divided as equally as 
practicable into six electoral circles, each to return three members ; and 
that to the eighteen to be thus elected should be added three officers of 
the executive government. 

"This proposal is incompatible with the immediate introduction of 
responsible government. But with a legislature thus composed, I 
believe that a sufficient degree of popular control could be exercised 
over an executive formed on the present model. I think that in 
each circle there would be found those competent to represent it 

90 History of the Cape Colony. [1S67 

in parliament, and glad to fiud themselves distinguished by their 

"With such a body there would be no difficulty in convening it 
at either end of the colony, as the public necessities might dictate. 
Hereafter, as the colony advances in wealth, intelligence, and 
civilisation, and when it feels itself in a position to claim parliamentary 
government, with the accompanimeiits properly appertaining to it, — 
and without which, to say the least, it creates much embarrassment, — 
then it will be no difficult task to restore the present representative 
bodies. What are now so highly needed are union and economy. 

"I trust that in thus submitting the proposal at the opening of your 
session, I have followed the course which is both most respectful to 
yourselves and most likely to gain for it an impartial verdict. You 
are perfectly able to pronounce upon its merits, and in your hands I 
must now leave it. In the hour of your country's real need, you will 
cast aside all personal considerations, and you will seek only her true 

The plan thus brought forward was similar to that 
adopted some years later for the election of members of the 
legislative council, with the exception of the right of three 
officials appointed by the crown to hold seats. Time was 
allowed for the consideration of so momentous a change, as 
early in the session the colonial secretary gave notice that 
he would move in the house of assembly on the 8th of June : 

"That in the present condition of the colony it is desirable, with a 
view to economy and the better administration of affairs, that there 
should be only one legislative chamber. 

*'That it is further desirable that the number of parliamentary 
representatives should be reduced below the present number, 

"That it is further desirable that for the election of the members of 
the single legislative chamber the present electoral divisions be grouped 
in six electoral circles, as under, and that each circle return three 

"That the governor be respectfully requested to introduce a bill 
for giving effect to the preceding resolutions. 

JEur6}jeans. Coloured people. 

" Circle of King-Williamstown . - 26,855 181,613 

„ Grahamstown - - - 30,347 44,016 

Graaff-Reinet - - - 30,168 43,283 

„ Swellendam - - - 32,561 29,748 

„ Tulbagh - - - . 27,803 49,010 

„ Capetown . , - - 34,138 37,654" 

1867] Sir Philip Wode house. 91 

Antagonism to this proposal of the governor was expressed 
generally throughout the colony, and it was ascertained at 
once that the members of parliament would unitedly oppose 
it as an act, not only of retrogression, but of political 
suicide. No one had a word to say in favour of it. The 
voice of all parties was that the condition of the country 
was indeed deplorable, but to add so greatly to the power 
of the executive government was not the way to improve 
it. And so, finding that there was no possibility of carrying 
the measure, or anything like it, when the time came for 
bringing his proposed resolutions before the house of 
assembly, Mr. Southey withdrew his notice, and another of 
Sir Philip Wodehouse's plans was shattered and gone. 

At that very moment a little sparkling stone, picked up 
far away on the bank of the Orange river, which M. 
Heritte, the French consul, pronounced to be a diamond 
which he would willingly give £500 for, was being exhibited 
in Capetown ; but no one could yet foresee that the finding 
of this brilliant gem by a little child was to alter the whole 
aspect of affairs in South Africa and replace the deepest 
depression with unwonted prosperity. 

With regard to payment for the troops, both houses of 
parliament regarded it as impossible. A contribution of 
£10,000 a year was already being made towards that 
object, and the frontier armed and mounted police, which 
was really a defensive force, was maintained entirely by 
the colony. They resolved therefore to appeal to the 
mother country to act generously in the matter, and with 
this view the following resolutions were carried in the 
house of assembly : 

**That the house, while recognising with sentiments of profound 
gratitude the fostering care of the British government and the generous 
protection afforded to the colony by the liberal employment of the 
British forces and expenditure of national treasure in its behalf, learns 
with great regret and anxiety that it is the intention of her Majesty's 
government to withdraw the troops at present stationed in it, unless a 
sum of £40 per man be paid by the colony for their maintenance. 

"The house is of opinion that this colony, while willing to do all 
in its power to meet the views of the imperial government, is totally 

92 Histoy of the Cape Colony, [1867 

unable to contril^ute tov/ards its defence in money more than it now 
does (about £100,000 per annum), and that it must therefore be left 
to her Majesty's government to act in the matter as it may deem 
just and expedient, with due regard to the peace and welfare of the 
colony and of the native tribes within and beyond its borders. The 
house considers, however, that the circumstances and situation of this 
colony, particularly in reference to the aboriginal tribes,* are peculiar 
and perilous, and such as to establish a very strong claim on the part 
of the colony to the exceptional consideration and treatment of the 
imperial government. 

"That these resolutions be transmitted to his Excellency the 
governor by respectful address, with a view to their being forwarded 
to the secretary of state for the colonies, v/ith a request for their 
favourable consideration." 

The legislative council adopted these resolutions, but 
added to them a number of explanatory statements in 
confirmation of their views. Sir Philip Wodehouse supported 
the parliament in this matter, on the ground that it would 
be inexpedient to weaken the power of the executive by 
removing the garrison, and the imperial government there- 
upon deferred pressing the claim, and withdrew some of 
the troops gradually, but did not entirely denude the colony 
of British soldiers, though payment for their services was 
not made. 

In this session Mr. Molteno brought on again his bill for 
the introduction of responsible government, which was 
rejected in the house of assembly by twenty-nine votes 
against twenty-two. 

*By aboriginal tribes is here meant the Bantu, who are really no more 
entitled to be so termed than the descendants of the slaves in the colony 
are. The Bushmen, the real aborigines of Africa south of the Zambesi, 
had almost completely disappej?Ted, and no longer gave any one a moment's 
thought. Sir Philip Wodehouse did not respect their right to territory 
one whit more than the European colonists, the Hottentots, or the Bantu 
had done. In giving out the land along the Drakensberg to various clans 
of Bantu, he took no greater notice of its Bushman occupants than if they 
had been baboons, nor would any other official in South Africa have 
thought or acted differently. By no one were they regarded as having 
any right except to life and liberty if they would keep out of the way, 
even the poor right to the exclusive title of aborigines, with such claim 
for consideration as that might give, was denied to them. 

1S67] Sir Philip Wodehouse, 93 

Mr. Solomon's bill for tbe withdra\Yal of state support 
to the clergymen of various religious bodies was passed by 
the house of assembly, but was rejected in the legislative 
council by nine votes against five. 

The governor's proposal to levy duties upon exports was 
rejected, and the only additional taxation that was consented 
to was a charge on persons depasturing cattle on . crown 
lands, a practice which was very prevalent in some parts of 
the colony, and tended to prevent people from acquiring and 
settling permanently on farms. As a means of equalising 
the revenue and the expenditure, retrenchment on tbe scale 
approved of in the preceding session was abandoned, and 
none of the magistracies were abolished, though other 
expenses were cut down considerably. The rivalry between 
the east and the west was strongly exhibited, particularly 
towards the close of the session, which ended on the 16th 
of August. 

The ovXy favourable feature that was observable in the 
financial condition of the country at this time was that the 
exports were of somewhat greater value than the import^-, 
as may be seen in the following statements : 

Imports of the Cape Colony. 

1862 - 

. £2,498,692 

1865 - 

- £2,086,700 

1863 - 

- 2,065,200 

1866 - 

. 1,914,060 

1864 . 


1867 - 

- 2,248,867 

Trade through the different ports. 

1866. 1867. 

Imports. Exports. Imports. Exports. 

Through Port Elizabeth - £913,077 £1,790,375 £1,210,809 £1,671,409 








East London - 






Mossel Bay 






Port Alfred • 





Port Beaufort - 











£1,914,060 £2,566,343 £2,248,867 £2,394,825 


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COMMISSIONER — (continued). 


In 1867 Prince Alfred, then duke of Edinburgh, paid his 
second visit to South Africa. He was at the time captain 
of the steam frigate Galatea, which arrived in Simon's Bay 
from England on the 15th of August. On the 24th of that 
month he laid the foundation stone of a dock in Table Bay, 
and on the 7th of September left in her Majesty's steamer 
Petrel to visit the Knysna, a district containing some of the 
most beautiful scenery in the colony. He was accompanied 
by the governor and a large staff, several of whom were accom- 
modated in her Majesty's steamer Racoon, which accompanied 
the Petrel. In the extensive forests of the Knysna some 
elephants were still preserved, and a hunting excursion was 
arranged, in which two were killed, one by the duke himself. 
On the 2nd of October the Galatea left Simon's Bay for 

At one o'clock in the morning of the 21st of October the 
transport Bosphorus, bound to Bombay, struck on a reef 
near Cape Saint Francis. The weather had been stormy, 
and a heavy sea was running, so that the ship broke up 
within three hours after striking. There were ninety-eight 
men on board, of whom only forty reached the shore alive. 
These managed to save themselves on pieces of the wreck, 
but they had been obliged to cast away all their clothing, 
9.nd some of them were badly bruised. 


96 History of the Cap^ Colony, [1868 

In November the long drought from which the colony 
had suffered was broken for a short time by very heavy 
rains, which in some places fell like sheets of water. The 
benefit to the country was considerable, but unfortunately 
dr}'- weather set in again and destroyed the hope that a cycle 
of better seasons had commenced. 

There was not much change in the condition of the colony 
in 1868, but what little was perceptible was for the better. 
The crops, though not very good, were more productive than 
in the preceding year. The number of European mechanics 
and labourers without employment in the towns was sensibly 
diminished, though this arose from the removal of many to 
other countries, not from an increased demand for their 
services in South Africa. A fall in the price of wool in 
England caused the exports to show a reduction in value 
below those of 1867, but the quantity produced was greater, 
and other articles were rapidly rising in importance. 

In April the monthly mail to Mauritius, which gave the 
Cape Colony the advantage of connection with the overland 
route between England and India, was discontinued, but at 
the same time the Union Steamship Company contracted to 
convey two mails in a month from and to England by the 
Atlantic route. 

In ttie session of the Cape parliament, from the 20th of 
May to the 2nd of September 1868, no business of much 
importance was transacted, though some useful legislation 
connected with minor matters was carried through. Mr. 
Solomon's bill for gradually abolishing state aid to certain 
churches was approved in the house of assembly by a 
majority of one, but was thrown out in the legislative 
council by twelve votes against five. 

The greater part of the northern border was at this time 
in a disturbed condition, owing to depredations by Korana 
clans and the inability of the other inhabitants, European 
or mixed breed, successfully to oppose them. Long before 
the date now reached the Koranas north of the Orange had 
sunk into obscurity, as many of them had been destroyed, 

i868] Sir Philip WodeliGiise. 97 

and those tbat remair.ecl were surrounded by more powerful 
Bantu clans, so that they could no longer live by plunder 
as they had done in the early years of the century. But 
south of that river, where the population consisted only of 
a few nomadic European and haifbreed graziers and a 
wretched remnant of the aboriginal Bushmen, who could 
hardly keep soul and body together now that the game was 
destroyed, there was still a field open in which they could 
prey upon others. Here then the most daring of the little 
bands collected and pursued the occupation of robbers. 

The territory had nominally formed part of the Cape 
Colony ever since Sir Harry Smith proclaimed the Orange 
the northern boundary, but in reality the wild people living 
in it were free of restraint and did not even know that after 
1847 their position was changed. There were no magistrates' 
courts near them, and no policemen had ever been seen 
there except during Mr. Anthing's short visit. The principal 
Korana clans in the territory were under four captains, 
named Pofadder, Piet Rooy, Carel Ruyters, and Jan Kivido, 
who roamed about it and plundered anybody and everybody 
of cattle whenever an opportunity arose. 

To put an end to this condition of affairs an act was 
passed by the Cape parliament in 1868, providing for the 
appointment of a magistrate with very large power in 
criminal cases, who was to have jurisdiction in those parts 
of the divisions of Namaqualand, Calvinia, Fraserburg, 
Victoria West, and Hopetown, more than twenty-five miles 
(forty kilometres) from the seats of the ordinary courts. By 
another act of the same date the governor was empowered 
to raise a small force of mounted police for the protection 
of the northern border, A commando was called out to clear 
the territory of marauders, and it was anticipated that when 
this was done order could easily be maintained. The 
commando, however, was unable to effect anything, as the 
Koranas avoided coming in contact with it. 

On tlie 19th of October Mr. Maximilian James Jackson 
was appointed special magistrate, and as soon as a company 


98 History of the Cape Colony. [1869 

of fifty policemen could be enrolled he proceeded to Kenhart. 
There it became evident that the force at his disposal was 
insufficient to cope with the difficulties before it, and soon 
afterwards a hundred and fifty of the frontier armed and 
mounted police, under Commandant Currie, were sent to the 
disturbed territory. Mr. Jackson found a number of the 
aborigines in a starving condition near Kenhart. Of late 
years some individuals of this race had moved over the 
Orange into the Kalahari, others had joined the Korana 
marauders, many had perished, and the remainder, after the 
destruction of the game, were iii a condition of extreme 
distress. Only one thing could be done with them, if they 
were not left to die of hunger or to be shot as thieves : they 
were sent to Calvinia, and were distributed with their own 
consent as servants among farmers who were willing to 
employ them. 

In May 1869 the Korana clans under Piet Rooy and Jan 
Kivido fell upon a party of halfbreeds, whom they plundered, 
and then in cold blood murdered five of the men. Inspector 
William Wright with thirty of the northern border police and 
twenty halfbreed volunteers was then sent in pursuit, and 
on the 29th of the month overtook the marauders at De 
Tuin, about five hours ride on horseback from Kenhart. 
An action followed, in which the police were defeated, and 
it was with difficulty that they made their escape. On the 
following day, however, Sir Walter Currie with a hundred 
and fifty of the frontier armed and mounted police arrived 
at Kenhart. 

There was a feud between Pof adder and Piet Rooy, so 
the former sided with the colonial force, and the other 
captains with their followers and the Bushmen who had 
joined them retired to the islands in the Orange river, which 
they regarded as impregnable strongholds. There, on the 
7th of July they were attacked by the police, when in three 
engagements between fifty and sixty Koranas were killed, 
and fifteen waggons and carts, twenty-two horses, and a few 
oxen and goats were recovered, and a good many women 

1869] Sir Philip Wodehouse, 99 

and children vvere captured, with a loss to the police of eight 
men wounded. 

Unfortunately the health of Sir Walter Currie broke down 
under the strain of the severe exertion and exposure 
incidental to such warfare, and he was obliged to desist from 
pushing his success further. He engaged a force of burgher-, 
half breeds, and Koranas of Pof adder's clan, two hundred in 
all, to keep the field, and with the frontier police returned to 
the Xosa border. There, after some months, as his health was 
completely shattered, he retired from the post he had so 
ably filled, and lingered on a mere wreck of what he had 
once been until June 1872, when he died. In May 1870 he 
was succeeded as commandant by Inspector James Henry 

Mr. Jackson, who was now made inspector of 
police as well as border magistrate, with the mixed 
commando and the northern border police, thirty-two 
horsemen and eighteen footmen when at its full 
strength, which was seldom the case, continued the 
operations against the marauders, and by following them up 
and allowing them no opportunit}^ to gather spoil, he 
reduced them at length to a condition of extreme want. In 
November 1869 he succeeded in capturing Piet Rooy and 
Jan Kivido with some of their followers, and shortly after- 
wards a number of others voluntarily surrendered. These, 
one hundred and four men all told, were sent to Capetown 
to undergo their punishment on the breakwater works, and 
as many of the half-starved women and children — Korana 
and Bushman — as could be collected were forwarded to the 
nearest villages, where they went into service with farmers 
and others. The clans of Piet Rooy and Jan Kivido were 
completely broken up, and only Carel Ruyters with some of 
his band remained at large. The police force was now 
reduced to forty effective men, and the commando was 
disbanded, with the exception of thirty or forty haltb>reeds, 
whose services were retained for a short time until order 
was established. 

lOO History of the Cape Colony, [1869 

In November 1870 the government offered to give out farms 
or rather cattle runs in the territory from five to tvv^enty 
thousand morgen in extent to approved apph'cants, to be held 
under military tenure, but the conditions were so onerous, 
and the number of armed men to be maintained on each farm 
was so large, that no one cared to accept the proposed 
grants. Matters remained fairly quiet until April 1871, when 
Inspector Jackson and the police having been sent to the 
diamond fields, a petty Korana captain named Klaas Lukas 
took advantage of the opportunity to commence a series of 
robberies. Upon the return of the police, however, tranquillity 
— or an approach to that condition of things— was again 
restored, and was maintained for some years. 

In 1869 a general election took place, when the most 
prominent question before the colony was the necessity of 
reducing the public expenditure to the limit of the existing 
revenue, as it was held that further taxation could not be 
borne. For both houses strong majorities were returned 
pledged to do their utmost in this direction. Sir Philip 
VVodehouse, however, was of a difierent opinion. On the 
24th of June parliament assembled, when in his opening 
speech he announced that the excess of expenditure over 
revenue during the preceding year amounted to £91,306, that 
retrenchment could not be carried further with any regard 
for the efficienc3^ of the administration, and that additional 
taxation would be necessary. 

On the 20th of July a government bill was introduced in 
the assembly for levying a tax of three pence in the pound 
on all incomes and property of the annual value of £50, to 
have effect for three years. The assembly was opposed to 
laying further burdens on the people, and here was a bill 
introduced for the levy of an impost in an exceedingly 
obnoxious form. The commonest objection to an income 
tax, that it places the few at the mercy of the many, was 
indeed removed by its proposed levy upon incomes as small 
as £50, but the inquisitorial nature of the impost was 
regarded as almost equally objectionable in a country 

1869] Sir Philip W ode ho use. 101 

where morality needed to be fostered and no temptation 
be offered to mendacity. Under any circumstances such a 
tax would have been regarded as objectionable. On this 
occasion it v\-as at once rejected, and the governor was 
requested to submit proposals for retrenchment of expense. 

His Excellency thereupon drew up a scheme, which was 
submitted to the assembly on the 2nd of August. He 
proposed to substitute for the two existing houses of 
parliament a single legislative chamber, to consist of a 
president appointed by the crown, three official members, 
and twelve members elected for five years. The colony 
was to be divided into twelve electoral circles, six in the 
western province and six in the eastern, each of which was 
to return one member. The yearly saving by the adoption 
of this scheme he estimated at £11,000. A bill to this 
effect was introduced by the colonial secretary, and was read 
the first time. 

He proposed further to abolish fourteen civil commissioner- 
ships, effecting a saving of £6,000 a year, various other 
ofiices, which would save £7,605 a year, and to withdraw 
all grants to agricultural societies, public libraries, museums, 
and botanical gardens, amounting to £4,000 a year. In all 
he thus proposed to effect a saving of £28,605 a j^ear, by the 
virtual destruction of the parliament, the abolition of some 
of the most necessary public offices, and the \vithdrawal of 
assistance from those institutions that mark the difterence 
between a barbarous and a civilised government. 

On the 6th of August the colonial secretary moved the 
second reading of the so-called constitution amendment bill 
in the assembly. Mr. (later Sir) John Gordon Sprigg, who 
had just been elected a representative of East London, and 
who now made his first appearance in the Cape parliament, 
moved as an amendment that it be read that day six months. 
The opinion was generally expressed that an upper house 
was unnecessary, as there was ample provision a.gainst hasty 
legislation in the veto of the governor and of the imperial 
authorities, and for this reason a number of members were 

102 History of the Cape Colony, [1S69 

willing to allow the bill to pass the second reading and to 
alter it in committee by increasing very largely the proposed 
representative element ; but the great majority, under the 
leadership of Mr. (later Sir) lohn Charles Molteno, one of the 
members for Beaufort West, would have nothing to do with it. 
It was therefore thrown out by thirty - nine votes against 

On the 16th of August Mr. Molteno brought forward a 
resolution, which was carried and transmitted to the governor, 
to the effect that the civil establishment had overgrown the 
necessities of the colony, that the salaries of the governor 
and the heads of departments were too large, and that there 
should be a general reduction of all salaries and a weeding 
out of unnecessary officials. To this his Excellency replied, 
declining the responsibility of such retrenchment and throw- 
ing it upon parliament, that could reduce the estimates 
submitted to it in any manner and to any extent that it 
chose, and pass bills concerning the salaries fixed by the 
constitution ordinance. 

This caused a serious difficulty, as it was impossible for 
members of parliament to judge of the usefulness of every 
office and the merits of every official as well as the admini- 
strative authorities could, but as governu ent would not 
perform the task, Mr. Molteno and those who supported 
him were obliged to take it in hand. In the meantime, on 
the 24th of August, Mr. Probart brought on a motion, " that 
in the opinion of this house the constitution of the legislature 
of this colony is needlessly cumbrous and costly, and that a 
legislative council, to consist of not less than thirty-three or 
more than sixty-six members, would meet all the require- 
ments of the colony and would be better adapted than the 
existing two chambers to its means and circumstances." This, 
when put to the test on the following day, was rejected by 
thirty-four votes to twenty-four. 

On trie 7th of September the retrenchment proposals of 
Mr. Molteno, reduciiig the administrative staff in number 
aiid the salaries of every ofrlciai from the governor down- 

1S69J 'S'/r Philip Wodehouse, 103 

ward, were canied in the assembly, aud on the 11th were 
transmitted to his Excellency. 

On the 14th the sfovernor caused new raxino- bills to be 
laid before the house. He proposed to levy an excise duty 
of one shilling and six pence a gallon (4'54346 litres) on all 
spirits distilled in the colony, a duty of two per cent on the 
interest of ail money invested in sliares or mortgages, a 
duty of one and a half per cent on the value of all produce 
exported, and a duty of five shillings to twenty shillings on 
every house according to its value. Thereupon the assembly 
declined to impose any new taxes until the governor would 
indicate what retrenchment he was willing to effect, and this 
he refused to do. 

Mr. Molteno then proposed to raise the ad valorem duties 
on imports not specially rated from ten to twelve and a half 
per cent, and as the governor would not introduce a bill to 
this effect, the house of assembly passed one, which was, 
however, thrown out by the legislative council. 

At this stage the estimates for the first three months of 
1870 were introduced by the government, and were referred 
by the assembly to a select committee. On the 15th of 
October the committee reported that the estimates were not 
in accordance with the resolutions of the house, and they 
had therefore altered them. 

This brought matters to a crisis, and on the 18th of 
October the governor prorogued the parliament and issued 
a proclamation dissolving the house of assembly and appealing 
to the country to decide upon the future form of government. 
It was necessary, he said, either to increase the power of the 
executive, which he regarded as the proper course, or to adopt 
responsible government, which he believed would be most 

He followed this up by publishing, on the 12th of 
November, the draft of a bill to amend the constitution. It 
substituted for the two existing houses of parliament a single 
legislative council, to consist of a nominated president, four 
official members to be selected by the governor, and thirty- 

1 64 History of the Cape Colony^ [1869 

two elected members, sixteen for each province. The existing 
electoral divisions were to be retained, except that Piketberg 
was to be joined to Malmesbury. The members were to hold 
their seats for five years. 

The question for the colonists to decide by their votes was 
thus apparently a simple one, but in reality it was complicated 
by the dissension between the eastern and western provinces, 
for many of the electors in the eastern districts, though 
favourably disposed towards self government, were willing 
to increase the power of the executive rather than subject 
themselves to a ministry formed by a western parliamentary 

During the session of 1869 an act was passed authorising 
the Cape Copper Mining Company to construct a jetty at 
Port Nolloth and a railway from that port to Onams at the 
foot of the mountain range bounding the coast plain. This 
was intended to facilitate the transport of copper ore over 
the heavy sand flat between the mountains and the sea, a 
distance of seventy-seven kilometres or forty ~ eight miles. 
In 1871 the company was authorised to extend the line 
nineteen kilometres or twelv^e miles farther, winding up the 
mountain side to the mission station Kookfontein. And in 
1873 a further extension of sixty-one kilometres or thirty- 
eight miles was authorised, making the inland terminus 
Ookiep, the principal copper mine in the country. The 
gauge of this railway is only seventy-six centimetres or 
thirty inches, and some of the gradients in the mountain 
section are very high, one place being as steep as one in 
twenty. Its use is almost entirely confined to the trans- 
port of ore to the sea and of provisions and other 
necessaries from Port Nolloth to the mines. 

In 1869 several disasters occurred in the colony. In 
Februar}^ a portion of the districts of Knysna, Humansdorp, 
and Uitenhage was laid waste by a very destructive fire. 
The country was parched by drought, when a hot wind set 
in from the north and continued for some da^^s. The dry 
brushwood commenced to burn in several places simul- 

1B69] Sir Philip Wo de house. 105 

taneously, and the fire spread rapidly over an extensive belt 
of country, destroying houses, orchards, and even live stock 
as it advanced. The Knysna village was only saved by a 
sudden change of the wind, which coming over the burning 
district, was as scorchingly hot as the air from a heated 
furnace. Great damage was done to the forests, which were 
previously supposed to be proof against a conflagration of 
this kind. 

In October there were heavy floods in the midland 
districts, by which much loss was caused, especially in the 
highly cultivated valley of Oudtshoorn. At the town of 
Beaufort West the great dam which forms a miniature lake, 
and was then the most important work of its kind in the 
colony, burst, and the water swept away several houses 
and stores. 

Algoa Bay, though exposed to southeast winds which 
sometimes blow with the force of gales, had never been the 
scene of such terribly disastrous shipwrecks as those which 
have been recorded as occurring during winter storms in 
Table Bay, but it was not free from occasional losses. On 
Sunday the 16th of October 1859 six ships were driven 
ashore there in a storm that during the next ten years was 
commonJy spoken of as the great gale. In 1869 there was 
another and larger disaster. On Saturday the 18th of 
September in this year thirteen sea-going vessels were lying 
at anchor in the roadstead, when a gale of unusual violence 
arose. Night set in, and the wind increased in strength, 
while before it the sea was driven in great billows upon 
the shore. Before dawn one after another ten of the vessels 
parted theii- cables and were cast on the beach, though 
happily all on board escaped with their lives. On Sunday 
morning the Sea Snake parted and struck. A crowd of 
people gathered as near as they could get, but her position 
was such that it was impossible to render assistance, and 
nine of her crew were drowned in the attempt to reach dry 
land. A steam tug, twelve cargo boats, and two anchor 
boats were also driven on shore and broken to pieces. Two 

io6 History of the Cape Colony, [1870 

only of the sea-going vessels rode out the gale. In the 
town some damage was done, particularly to the roofs of 
buildings, but this was not very great, and it was speedily 

The governor's proposal of a retrogressive change in the 
constitution found no support whatever in the greater part 
of the colony. Hardly anyone was willing to increase the 
power of the executive, but there were many who favoured 
the reduction of parliament to a single chamber by doing 
away with the legislative council, which they regarded as 
of little practical use. The interest taken in the elections 
was keen, and no fewer than twenty-two of the late 
members lost their seats and were replaced by others. 

On the 25th of January parliament was opened by the 
governor with a speech in which he read portions of a 
despatch from the secretary of state for the colonies, giving 
the view of the imperial authorities upon the situation. 
Earl Granville wrote : 

"It becomes necessarj'-, therefore, to bring the executive government 
and the representative legislature into harmony, either by strengthening 
the influence of the government over the legislature, or by strengthening 
the influence of the legislature over the government. But although I have 
been anxious to give you every opportunity of giving effect to your own 
views, I have never concurred with you in anticipating that you would be 
able to frame and carry through the Cape parliament a measure which 
would give to the government, as at present constituted, such powers as 
the necessities of the case require. And if the government cannot by some 
such measure be enabled to command the cooperation of the legislature, it 
remains that the legislature should be enabled to ensure the cooperation 
of the government, that is that responsible government should be 
established in that as in other colonies of equal importance. I have con- 
sidered the difiiculties you point out as likely to arise when such a change 
is made. But if the colonists will not allow them&olves to be governed, 
— and I am far from blaming them for desiring to manage their own affairs, 
or from questioning their capacity to do so, .which is seldom rightly 
estimated till it is tried, — it follows that they must adopt the responsibility 
of governing. 

" The policy, therefore, which I shall enjoin on your successor will be 
that of pointing out to the colonists that in one way or another a change 
in their constitution is inevitable, and of explaining to them that her 
Majesty's government look upon the present constitution as an inadequate 

1870] Sir Philip VVodehotise. 107 

and transitional one, which, as they are unable to administer it effectually, 
they are only content to administer at the desire of the colonists, and 
until a decision is arrived at as to what change should take place. If the 
colony shall bo r&ady to repose greater trust than heretofore in the crown 
and its servants, and to confide to them a larger and more effectual 
authority, it will be the first endeavour of the new governor to devise such 
a plan for that purpose as shall be acceptable to the present legislature. 
If, on the contrary, the colonists shall prefer to assume the responsibility 
of managing their own affairs, it will be his duty to consider with them, in 
a spirit of cordial cooperation, the means by which this may be safely and 
justly effected ; what shape the new system of self-government should 
assume — whether of a single undivided colony, or of a colony divided into 
semi-independent provinces, or of two or more distinct colonies — is a 
question which the colonists will no doubt maturely consider, and in which 
I should wish to be guided by their deliberate conclusions. At present, I 
think it is undesirable even to indicate an opinion upon it." 

The governor stated his own objections to responsible 
government, as unsuited to a dependency, and particularly 
to one with such scanty resources and such a divided 
population as the Cape Colony ; and he therefore submitted 
the bill that he had publislied, in the hope that it would 
be adopted. In view of the reduction of the imperial 
garrison, he recommended an enlargement of the frontier 
armed and mounted police. He announced that the strictest 
economy had been observed in preparing the estimates and 
that retrenchment had been carried as far as could be done 
with safety, but that there was still a large deficit in the 
revenue, and that therefore further taxation could not be 

On the 21st of February Mr. South ey, the colonial secre- 
tary, moved the second reading of the bill for altering the 
constitution. Mr. Philip Watermeyer, one of the members 
for Richmond, thereupon moved, and Mr. Reitz seconded, 
that it be read that day six months. 

An animated debate followed, which proved that hardly 
anyone favoured the bill as it stood. There were many 
members, however, who were prepared to dispense with 
the legislative council, and who were willing to vote for the 
second rtading, with the intention of altering the bil' in 

io8 History of the Cape Colony, [1870 

committee by rejecting the ofScial element and increasing 
the number of elected members. The majority, led by Mr. 
Molteno, objected to this, on the ground that by doing so 
the principle of the bill, that is the increasing the power 
of the executive government and diminishing that of tlie 
parliament, would be approved. The debate was continued 
until the 24th, when the bill was thrown out by thirty-four 
votes against twenty-six. 

Those against it altogether were Messrs. Adams, Botha, 
Bowker, P. A. Brand, van Breda, Burger, Dackitt, Gush, 
Human, Keyter, Louw, Meiring, Molteno, Mooclie, Pearson, 
Pentz, Porter, Prince, Proctor, Reitz, van Rhjn, Scanlen, 
Scheepers, Shawe, Slater, Solomon, D. Tennant, J. H. 
Tennant, Theunissen, Yersfeld, de Villiers, Watermeyer, J. A. 
de Wet, and Ziervogel. 

Those who voted for the second reading, and who were 
either prepared to accept the bill as it stood or wished to 
amend it in committee, were Messrs. Ayliff, Barrington, J. 
H. Brown, G. Brown, van der Byl, Ciough, Darnell, Distin, 
Eustace, Foster, Goold, Hemming, King, Knight, Loxton, 
Manuel, Merriman, Quin, Rice, Rorke, Smith, Stigant, 
Thompson, J, P. de Wet, Wollaston, and Weight. Of these, 
eighteen members represented eastern province and eight 
western province constituencies. 

An attempt of the government to place a number of 
offices on the reserved schedules, and thus to remove the 
salaries attached to them from parliamentary control, met 
with such determined opposition that it had to be abandoned. 
Several taxing bills were introduced, but most of them were 
thrown out. It was admitted by parliament, however, that 
an increase of revenue was necessarv, for the deficit could 
no longer be made good b}^ loans. A house duty act was 
therefore passed, under which five shillings a year was to be 
paid on every house under the value of £100, ten shillings 
on every house from £100 to £500 in value, twenty shillings 
on every house from £500 to £1,000 in value, and ten 
shillings additional for every £500 or fraction of £500 

iS-jo] LietUenant-General Hay, 109 

above £1,000. This act was to be in force for three years. 
The stamp act was also amended to make it more productive. 

The public debt of the colony payable in England at this 
time amounted to £1,423,400, which had been contracted 
for the following purposes: improvement of Table Bay 
£250,000, of Port Alfred £76,500, of Port Elizabeth £58,500, 
of Mossel Bay £8,000, for immigration £75,000, and to meet 
deficiencies of revenue £955,400. Provision was made for 
paving £50,000 of this at once, and an act was passed to 
consolidate the remainder. The interest was fixed at five per 
cent per annum, and an amount of £90,000 minus the 
interest was to be redeemed yearly, so that the whole should 
be paid off" in thirty-seven years. 

On the 5th of May parliament was prorogued, and on 
the 20th of the same month the connection of Sir Philip 
Wodehouse with South Africa came to an end. He sailed in 
the mail steamer Briton for England, unregretted by the 
colonists as a governor, on account of his want of tact and 
opposition to the spirit of the time, though respected as an 
upright and benevolent man. Of the usual addresses presented 
to a governor at the close of his administration but one was 
handed to him — from the bishop and clergy of the English 
episcopal church, — as people did not wish to express 
sentiments that they did not feel. Some time after his 
leturn to England he was appointed governor of Bombay, and 
on the 2nd of May 1872 assumed duty there. For an Indian 
administrator he was admirably adapted, and in that capacity 
he remained until 1877, when at the age of sixty-six years he 
retired from public life. 

Upon his departure from the' Cape, Lieutenant-Gen eral 
Charles Craufurd Hay, who since the 25th of January 1869 
had held a commission as lieutenant-governor, assumed the 
dut}^ "of administrator of the government, and was shortly 
afterwards appointed high commissioner also. The most 
important event during the seven months that he was at the 
head of afiairs v/as the dispute with the government of the 
Oranoe Free State concerning the claim of Mr. David Arnot, 

no History of the Cape Colony. [1870 

in the name of the Griqua captain Nicholas Waterboer, to 
the ownership of the territory in which diamonds had been 
discovered, and where many thousands of diggers were 
then seeking for wealth, which is fully related in another 

The fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the British 
settlers of 1820 was celebrated in Grabamstown with great 
heartiness. Tnesdaj^ the 24th of May being the queen's 
birthday, and Thursday the 26th being ascension day, were 
public holidays. Monday the 23 rd and Wednesday the 
25th were added by proclamation, so that the jubilee might 
be observed in as becoming a manner as the importance of 
the event commemorated deserved to be. These settlers, 
what difficulties had they not overcome during those fifty 
j^ears in building up the prosperity of their part of the 
eastern province ! They had passed through three wars 
with the Xosas and Tembus, in each of which a large 
portion of Albany had been laid waste, they had experienced 
all the vicissitudes of farming life in South Africa, — 
droughts, floods, blights, cattle diseases, and other evils, 
were familiar to them, — and yet at the end of half a 
century they could say with pride that no other body of 
men and women of equal number had ever left the shores 
of England and prospered more than they. There were 
processions, and feasts, and thanksgiving services in the many 
churches they had built, and a very creditable show of the 
products of Albany and the handiwork of Grahamstown. 

A memorial tower, for which £1,400 was subscribed and 
paid to a committee, was also planned, and the foundation 
stone was laid with much ceremony by the honourable 
Robert Godlonton. The work of construction, however, was 
not carried out for several years. In 1877 the municipal 
council resolved to build a handsome town hall, at a cost 
of £17,000, and it was arranged that the memorial tower 
should form part of the design. The building — including 
the tower — was completed in 1881, and contains the 
municipal offices, a large hall used for lectures, concerts. 

1870] Lieutenant-G enteral Hay. 1 1 1 

and public meetings, the public library, which occupies nearly- 
half the buildino', and a fine art gallery. 

The docks in Table Bay were so far advanced that they 
could be used by shipping, and on the I7th of May 1870 
they were opened by proclamation without any ceremony. 
On the 21st of June the Galatea arrived in Simon's Bay 
from Ceylon, and the duke of Edinburgh,* who commanded 
her, was requested to open them formally. This he did on 
the 11th of July with the observances customary on such 
occasions, when they were officially named the Alfred docks. 
On the 14th of July the Galatea left for Australia. 

In the session of 1869 provision was made by parliament 
for the purchase by the government of the property of the 
Kowie Harbour Improvement Company, and the transfer of 
the works at Port Alfred. This was done as the only 
means of preserving the piers partly constructed and of 
completing them, for the company had been obliged to 
cease its operations through want of funds. The govern- 
ment had already contributed £76,500 towards the work. 
In 1868 Sir John Coode was requested to furnish plans for 
the improvement of the ports of East London, the Kowie, 
and Algoa Bay, and he had sent Mr. Neate, a marine 
engineer, to survey those places. Mr. Neate arrived in 
November 1868, and at once commenced his work, so that 
in April 1870 plans and estimates for the construction of 
harbours at the three places named were received from Sir 
John Coode. The government paid the debts of the Kowie 
Harbour Improvement Company, amounting to £25,000, and 
in return received transfer of all its rights. On the 1st of 
July 1870 the company was dissolved by proclamation, and 
the harbour works at Port Alfred became the property of 
the colony. Since that date large sums of money have 
been expended upon them, but the depth of water on the 
bar has not been so much increased as to admit of the 

* This was the fourth visit of his royal highness to South Africa. 
The third occasion was in December 1868, when he was here for a few 
days in the Galatea, 

112 History of the Cape Colony. [1870 

entrance of vessels of heavy burden, and the port is now 
practically abandoned. 

For some time past experiments had been made in the 
cultivation of silk, flax, and cotton, and it had been confidently 
anticipated by many persons that the last of these articles 
would soon become a prominent item in the list of colonial 

The production of silk was tried in both provinces, but 
particularly at Sfcellenbosch. Excellent samples were obtained, 
but it was found that the worms often died off suddenly, and 
the returns were so small compared with the care and labour 
required that the experiments were soon abandoned. 

In favourable seasons flax was found to thrive well in 
particular localities in the east, and several fields promised 
an excellent return. But it could not be depended upon in 
general, and in small quantities it could not find purchasers. 
It too was therefore abandoned after a fair trial. 

Cotton was tried by many of the enterprising farmers of 
the south-eastern districts. In some localities it grew luxuri- 
antly, though the bolls did not always attain maturity. In 
1867 two hundred and eighteen kilogrammes or four hundred 
and eighty pounds were exported, in 1868 four hundred and 
ninety-five kilogrammes or one thousand and ninety-two 
pounds, in 1869 six hundred and eighty-one kilogrammes or 
one thousand five hundred and one pounds, in 1870 eight 
hundred and seventy-five kilogrammes or one thousand nine 
hundred and twenty-eight pounds, and in 1871 eleven 
thousand three hundred and thirty-five kilogrammes or 
twenty-four thousand nine hundred and ninety pounds. 
Some was also used in the colony for various purposes. In 
a show of cotton in King-Wiliiamstown in 1871 one hundred 
and sixty bales were exhibited, which contained thirty-one 
thousand seven hundred and fifty-one kilogrammes or seventy 
thousand pounds. In a show at the same place in 1872 
ninety-one bales, containing fifteen thousand and fifty kilo- 
grammes or thirty-three thousand one hundred and eighty-one 
pounds of unginned cotton, were exhibited. It was sold by 

tS-jo] Lieuteiiant'Geno'al Hay. n 

auction, and realised from 2|d. to 2|d, a pound. In Grahams- 
town at the same time (Au^'ust 1872) one hundred and 
seventy-two bales, containing thirty-eight thousand four 
hundred and twenty - eight kilogrammes or eighty - four 
thousand seven hundred and nineteen pounds, were exhibited. 
This was grown chiefly in the districts of Albany and 
Peddie, and thirty bales of it were ginned. 

But the price of cotton at that time was so low in 
England that it could only have paid colonial farmers to 
produce it under the most favourable circumstances, and 
labourers were almost unobtainable, owing^ to the hisfh rate 
of wages at the diamond fields. In the picking season the 
blacks were not to be depended upon, no matter what pay 
was offered, and in some instances crops were entirely, or 
almost entirely, lost. The planters became discouraged, 
and shortly the attempt to grow cotton for exportation 

A change in the seasons had now set in, and after the 
long years of drought, varied occasionally by destructive 
storms of wind and rain, the upper terraces were once more 
clothed with verdure. The benefit to the country was 
enormous, for not only could crops be put in the ground, 
but the emaciated animals that remained alive soon became 
fat and thriving. If the change in the appearance of the 
grazing districts was astonishing, not less so was the change 
in the spirits of those who depended for their living upon 
horned cattle and sheep, To them the alteration in the 
seasons turned despondency into eheerfulnesSj to an extent 
that can only be realised in a country where long drouglt 
makes the ground liko h'on ^nd the iky Uk© br&So, 

VOIi. IV. 



Sir Philip Wodehouse's successor was a man of no greater 
natural ability, but he was in sympathy with the aspira- 
tions of the majority of the colonists, who favoured self- 
government, and consequently he w^as more popular and 
more successful. He had been governor of British Guiana. 
Jamaica, Victoria, and Mauritius, and was therefore a man 
of wide experience. On the 31st of December 1870 he 
arrived in the mail steamer Norseman, with his lady and 
a daughter, and at once took the oaths of office. 

A wave of prosperity resulting from the discovery of 
diamonds in great numbers and the change for the better 
in the seasons had already commenced to set in, so that the 
people were less discontented and less prone to faultfinding 
than they had been in previous years. The revenue was 
increasing rapidly, and not only w^as retrenchment of expen- 
diture no longer regarded as imperative, but large public 
works could be taken in hand. 

As soon as arrangements could be made, the governor left 
Capetown for a long tour, in which he visited the diamond 
fields, Bloemfontein, and Basutoland, passed through Aliwa! 
!North, Burghersdorp, and Queenstown, to King-Williamstown, 
and then through Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth on his 
return. He reached Capetown again in time to open 
parliament on the 27th of April 1871 with a speech in 
which the clieering information was given that the revenue 
of 1870 had exceeded the expenditure by £35,518. 


tSyi] Sir Henry Barkly. 115 

After referring to the condition of the diamond fields, 
Basutoland, and the Transkeian territories, and recom- 
mending measures for the prevention of cattle stealing by 
the Xosas within the colony, the governor made the following 
remarks upon the political question of the day: 

"I could not but observe with regret, during my progress through 
the eastern portion of the colony, the existence of a deep-rooted 
feeling that their special interests were not likely to receive due con- 
sideration so long as the seat of government remained fixed at Capetown. 

"This feeling, as you are aware, found fresh vent a few months since 
in a memorial addressed to the earl of Kimberley, as secretary of state 
for the colonial department, praying that I might be instructed on my 
arrival to give the subject of the removal of the seat of government to 
some place in the eastern districts my immediate and impartial 

" Accordingly, in the despatch addressed to me by his Lordship before 
I started, calling my attention to some of the prominent questions with 
which I should have to deal, this subject is adverted to, and a sugges- 
tion thrown out that in order to obviate all ground of agitation for 
such removal, the local authorities should be invested Avith a greater 
share of legislative and administrative power ; the carefully considered 
constitution of the Dominion of Canada being referred to as presenting 
a model for the solution of the difficulty. 

"The reference thus made must be held to imply not merely a 
recommendation that the colony should be divided into federated 
provinces, but that some system of responsible government should be 
established in each, for it will be found from the despatch itself, which 
I lay before you in extenso, that the present secretary of state for the 
colonies fully adopts the views expressed by his predecessor. Earl 
Granville, as to the anomalous constitution of the colonial legislature, 
and considers the rejection of the proposal made by Sir Philip 
Wodehouse last session for a single legislative chamber as affording all 
the stronger reason why those who refused to acquiesce in that measure 
should now support the alternative course. 

"The attempt to introduce a certain m.odicum only of parliamentary 
government into this colony seems indeed to be regarded on all hands aa 
a failure. , The experiment has now been tried for nearly seventeen years, 
during tLj existence of nearly five different parliaments, and under the 
auspices of two administrators of remarkable energy and ability, yet .'of 
widely different temperaments ; and it has been found, so far as I can 
judge, to work inharmoniously and unsatisfactorily, alike to the governing 
and to the governed. 

* The memorial referred to was signed by eight hundred British Bettlers and 
their descendants. 

ii6 Histoiy of the Cape Colojiy. [1871 


Be this as it may, it is clearly necessary at the pre^^ent moment, if a 
progressive policy is to be pursued, that the executive government should 
be endowed with more extensive powers and greater liberty of action ; and 
if the question, whether this should be accomplished by retracing the steps 
taken in 1854, and restoring the authority of the crown, has been definitely 
decided in the negative, it is not easy to perceive what other feasible course 
remains open save to carry the sj'-stem of parliamentary government to its 
natural and legitimate consequences, by rendering the executive responsible 
through the medium of its principal officers to the legislature, and thus 
enabling it, so long as these retain the confidence of that body, to shape 
the course o£ public business, and act promptly and efficiently whenever 
the necessity arises, in anticipation of subsequent approval. 

" As to the formation of separate provincial governments, this might be 
advantageous if combined with a strong domestic administration centrally 
situated in South Africa, bub it is obvious that no such system of federal 
union could be maintained unless each of the states composing it were 
eqaally independent of extraneous control. In other words, self- 
government should precede federation ; and not for this reason only, but 
to prevent the difficulties and risks of failure which any attempt to carry 
out simultaneously two such great political changes would inevitably 

" As a matter of fact it has had priority in the case both of the North 
American and Australian colonies ; nor should it be forgotten here, in 
connection with the former, that Upper and Lower Canada, differing 
widely as their respective populations have ever done in race, language, 
and mode of thought, grew up into a strong and prosperous state, ruled for 
the most part by coalition ministries long before they lately resolved 
themselves in separate provinces with a view to admission into the 
powerful confederacy which now constitutes the dominion. 

*' You may rely upon it, however, that in recommending the application 
of principles under which these great groups of colonies have made and 
are making such wonderful and gratifying progress, the imperial government 
are neither insensible to the obstacles which seem likely to beset the 
operation of those principles here, nor desirous of driving the Cape colonists 
into the adoption of institutions for the successful working of which they 
feel themselves unfitted. 

" If any amendment on the present unsatisfactory mode of administration 
better adapted to the peculiar circamstances of South Africa than 
responsible government can be devised, or if there be any intermediate 
stage in their progress towards that form of government at which the 
colonists would wish for a time to hnlt, I am confident that whatever doubts 
her Majesty's present advisers might entertain as to the probable results 
of the scheme, no opposition whatever would be offered to its receiving a 
fair trial. 

"It rests, in faob, with the colonists alone at the present juncture to 
judge for themselves what reforms in the constitution shall be effected j 

1 871] Sir Henry Barkly. 117 

and I will only add that I await the upshot of your deliberations as their 
representatives, fully prepared to afibrd any assistance in my power in 
carrying out the views at which the majoiiiv may see fit to arrive." 

The opinions expressed in the parac^raphs quoted above 
were those of the governor himself, and were at variance 
with those held bv the members of the executive council, 
all of whom were opposed to the introduction of responsible 
government. On learning the nature of the speech intended 
to be made, they drew up their objections in writing, with 
a view to the documents being forwarded to the imperial 

The attorney-general, Mr. W. D. Griffith, based his first 
objection upon the large coloured population, who were 
entitled to the franchise, and some of whom actually availed 
themselves of it under the instigation of persons of European 
race. That as a general rule they had not made use of 
their privileges could not, he thought, be reckoned on as 
a fact likely to continue. If government by parliamentary 
majorities were introduced, they would very soon be taught 
by interested persons that they were entitled to the 
franchise, and their votes would be obtained for one 
purpose or another. When they once began generally to 
use their votes, it would simply be impossible to govern 

His next objection arose from the condition of the white 
population, which he divided into two main classes, the 
Enoflish immiorants and their descendants and those of 
Dutch descent. The latter, who were in a large majority, 
were for the most part ignorant of the English language, 
and entertained strong prejudices against English institutions. 
He might have added, but he did not, that the prejudices 
of the former class in the opposite direction were at least 
equally as strong. No alteration of the franchise, he 
observed correctly, could meet the difficulties created by 
these circumstances. 

Then the colony was sparsely inhabited, and its people 
were for the most) part uneducated. As a consequeiice, there 

ii8 History of the Cape Colony, [187 1 

would 1 e a scramble for office among- a very few individuals 
who would embrace politics as a trade, for there were 
practically no men in the colony of leisure and independence. 

The constitution of the two houses of parliament formed 
another objection, for one was as representative as the 
other, and neither had control over tlie other. In which 
was to be the necessary majority to maintain a ministry, 
and what would result if an opposing majority should exist 
in the other. 

The condition of the diamond fields and of Basutoland 
was also to be considered. If the diamond fields were to be 
annexed to the Cape Colony, that should be effected before 
a change in the form of government took place, in order 
that the people there might also have a voice in deciding 
the matter. The Basuto had requested to be brought 
under the queen's government, not under that of a colonial 
ministry, and such a change as the one proposed would 
excite great dissatisfaction in their minds, and would not 
improbably be the cause of future wars. 

The other members of the executive council, Mr. K 
Southey, colonial secretar}^ Mr. J. C. Davidson, treasurer- 
general, Mr. E. M. Cole, auditor-general, and Mr. K Graham, 
collector of customs, drew up jointly a document in which 
they expressed their opinions. They regarded any failure 
that had occurred in the working of the existing form of 
government as referable in great part to circumstances 
which might be specified as applying much more strongly to 
the proposed form of government b}?- parliamentary majority, 
such as the sparseness of the popvdation, the preponderance 
of the coloured races, want of education, diversities of race 
and language among the white inhabitants, want of public 
opinion, difficulties of communication, and inability of the 
best informed and most competent colonists to leave their 
homes and avocations to take part in public affairs without 
ruin to their private interests. 

They held that one cause of the unsatisfactory working 
of the existing form of government was undoubtedly the 

187 1] Sir Henry Bark/y. 119 

want of sufficient influence by the executive upon the 
representative branche.s of the legislature. They referred to 
some of the disadvantages under which the executive had 
laboured in this respect. There were two houses, of 
coordinate authority, to both of which every measure had 
to be submitted through all its stages, precisely as in the 
imperial legislature. Their modes and forms of procedure 
had in all respects been closely copied from those of the 
imperial parliament. They were assembled, and sat simul- 
taneously through protracted sessions. It had come to be 
expected that the four members of the executive who 
possessed the privilege of attending the houses, but were 
never in any sense intended to be members, should, at least 
some of them, give constant attendance in both houses, and 
not only conduct the measures of the government, but deal 
with the numerous objections and questions, and discuss the 
measures introduced by the members themselves. Ministerial 
and parliamentary functions had thus become imposed upon 
three or four members of the colonial executive, in addition 
to their ordinary and constant administrative duties, without 
any provision for meeting them. 

Harmonious action between the parliament and the 
executive, in the conduct of the public business and legisla- 
tion, had. undoubtedly been impeded of late years by the 
insufficiency of the revenue to meet needful expenditure, 
and the contentions naturally springing from the necessary 
measures for increase of taxation which the government 
had from time to time been compelled to propose. It might, 
however, now be hoped that the, returning prosperity of the 
colony and the increasing T)ublic revenue would remove this 
prolific cause of painful discussion and difference. 

The provision made for the representation of the executive 
having been so far short of the test now applied, they 
thought it could scarcely be held that the possibilities of 
satisfactory government under the existing constitution had 
been exhausted, or that they had even had a fair trial ; for 
it could not be doubled that if government by parliamentary 

I20 History of the Cape Colony, . [187 1 

majority were introclucer], one of its first necessities would 
be a considerable numerical increase to the executive, both 
in and out of parliament, and the introduction of depart- 
mental responsibility. This was equally practicable with 
the existing form of government, and was in their opinion 
essential to the successful working of any form of repre- 
sentative government. 

They observed that the direction in which measures 
should be taken to overcome or remove the deficiencies 
which seventeen years of not altogether unsuccessful working 
of the existing constitution had disclosed could not be 
gathered from the previous action of the legislature ; for 
while, on the one hand, it had on one occasion declined to 
adopt the simple form of legislature proposed by Sir Philip 
Wodehouse, it had equally, on the other hand, on several 
occasions declined to adopt the principle of government by 
parliamentary majority. But they submitted that, what- 
ever the opinions or action of either house of parliament 
from time to time might have been or might still be on 
this question, the colonial legislature was not, in the actual 
circumstances of the country, the tribunal by which such 
an issue should be decided ; and that the question should 
be considered and acted upon by her Majesty's government 
upon its own responsibility in reference to the fitness or 
•unfitness of the colony for so momentous a change. 

They then entered into details concerning the sparseness 
of the population ; the numerical preponderance of the 
coloured people, showing that fully two - thirds of the 
inhabitants were still in a state of barbarism or semi- 
barbarism, pointing out the danger of these people becoming 
masters of the situation owing to the low qualification for 
the franchise — the occupation of fixed property of the total 
(not annual) value of £25 ; — the want of education ; tlie 
diversity of race, ideas, habits, and language of the European 
inhabitants ; the feelings of antagonism between the white 
and coloured people, particularly in the frontier districts ; 
the absence of public opinion, which would lead to instability 

187 1] Sir Henry Barkly. 121 

01 Jegislation and polic}^ ; the want of men possessino^ the 
requisite qualifications to liold offices in a responsible ministry ; 
and the existence of two elective houses of coordinate 
functions and authority, in both of which the majority 
essential to the existence of a ministry would seldom be 

They submitted that the facts and considerations they 
had adduced showed that the colony was wholly unfit for 
the proposed change in its form of government ; and further, 
that the dangers to be apprehended from the premature 
attempt thus to get rid of very minor difficulties attending 
the working of the constitution then in force were too 
momentous to be risked upon the decision of the existing 

They deprecated any change which would reduce the 
influence of the crown in the colony, which they regarded as 
the chief bond by v/hich its heteroo^eneous elements were 
held together. To surrender this restraining influence would, 
they believed, lead to disturbance and strife of races 
within and without the colony, annihilate English interests, 
and looking upon the colony as the chief standpoint for the 
spread of peace and progress in South Africa, would 
hopelessly throw back the civilisation of a large area of the 

Holding these views, the members of the executive council 
who were entitled to take part in debates in parliament 
considered it their duty not to oppose the governor, but to 
abstain from joining in discussions that might arise respecting 
responsible governoient, and to leave the decision to the 
unbiassed votes of the elected representatives of the people. 

The party in the house of assembly that was in favour of 
the introduction of responsible government waited until all 
the eastern members had arrived before taking any action. 
They were tolerably certain of success, especially as no 
opposition was now to be feared from the imperial authorities, 
and they desired a thorough discussion of the question on its 
own merits. On the 1st of June Mr. Molteno, member for 

122 History of the Cape Colony. [1S71 

Beaufort West, moved, and Mr. Waterraeyer, member for 
Richmond, seconded : 

"That this house is of opinion that the time has come when the system 
of parliamentary government in this colony should be carried to its 
natural and legitmiate consequence, by rendering the executive responsible, 
through the medium of its principal officers, to the legislature, and thus 
enabling it, so long as these retain the confidence of that body, to shape 
the course of public business. And as it may be expedient that the colony 
should be divided into three or more provincial governments for the 
management of their own domestic affairs, formed into a federative union, 
under a general government, for the management of affairs affecting the 
interests and relations of the united colony, this house is of opinion that his 
Excellency the governor should be requested, by respectful address, to 
appoint a commission to inquire into and report upon the expediency of 
such provincial governments, with the federation thereof, and, if deemed 
expedient, to inquire into and report upon the arrangements which may 
be necessary for their introduction and establishment." 

In tbis motion two distinct subjects were referred to. 
One, the introduction of responsible government, was to have 
immediate effect, the other, the desirability of federation, was 
merely to be inquired into and reported upon, with a view 
to the possible adoption of the system at some future time. 
The word federation was then commonly used to signify 
the union for general purposes of several provinces with 
local legislatures into which the settlement was first to be 
divided, not the union under one central government of 
the Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State, and the 
South African Republic, unless those colonies and states 
were specially mentioned. Such a change in the form of 
government of the Cape Colony was advocated almost 
exclusively by the descendants of the British settlers in 
the eastern province ; the later English immigrants and 
practically the whole of the Dutch speaking colonists either 
caring little about it one way or the other or opposing it 
on the ground of the increased expense that it would 
necessarily entail. The position which tiie descendants of the 
British settlers of 1820 had attained in the colony can 
therefore be accurately gauged by the importance attached 
to this question. 

iSyiJ Sir Henry Barkly, 123 

As an amendment to Mr. Molteno's motion, Mr. 0. A. 
Smith, member for Kino^-Williamstown, proposed, and Mr. J. 
T. Eustace, member for Capetown, seconded : 

"1. That this house, without disputing the principle that responsible 
or party government is the natural consequent of representative institu- 
tions, cannot shut its eyes to the fact that there exists, especially in 
the eastern province, a strong feeling of opposition to its immediate 
introduction into this colony. 

"2. That in the opinion of this house, it is but just and expedient, 
under the peculiar circumstances of this colony, that before effecting 
so important and radical a change in the constitution, a competent 
commission, fairly representing the entire colony, should be appointed 
to consider and report upon this question in all its bearings, and 
especially whether it would not be practicable and more consistent with 
the wants and wishes of a large portion of the inhabitants of the 
colony, that some system of federative and local government should 
precede, or at least be simultaneous with, the introduction of 
responsible government. 

"3. That this house, therefore, by respectful address, request that 
his Excellenc}^ the governor will be pleased to appoint such a com- 
mission, with an instruction to terminate its labours in time to enable 
action to be taken on its report during the next session of parliament.'' 

The debate upon the question of the introduction of 
responsible government was carried on with much earnest- 
ness on both sides, all the old objections beino- urged again 
by the opponents of the measure and replied to by those 
in favour of it. 

There was first the important question of the coloured 
population, which v/as double that of the European residents 
in the colony. These people were entitled to the franchise 
on the same terms as white men, and mosfc of them were 
absolute barbarians without any' conception of what repre- 
sentative government implied. They would be made the 
sport of party leaders, and anything like justice or high 
civilisation would become impossible. Or, if this should 
not happen, the attempt to rule them by white men with 
stroDg prejudices must result in war. 

To this it was replied that the blacks would be no more 
subject to party influence than they were alreadj^, and that 
colonists, wiiose interest it v*^as to avoid war, would be far 

124 History of the Cape Colony, [187 1 

more likely to govern them wisely and justly than oQicials 
responsible only to the authorities in England. 

Next, there was not a sufficient number of men in the 
colony of talent and wealth to form ministries under a 
system where tenure of office would be precarious. 

Reply. That could not be known until it was tried. The 
occasion would probably produce the men, and in any case 
they would soon be trained, which they could not be in 

Of the European electors there were many more of Dutch 
than of English descent. Would the British settlers consent 
to be ruled by a ministry chosen by a Dutch majority ? 

Reply. All were colonists, and the interests of all were 
the same. There was nothing to fear from a Dutch majority, 
and it was hardly conceivable that any question should arise 
in which the electors would be divided on purely racial lines. 
Would the British settlers object to party government if 
they were in the majority and the Dutch in the minority ? 
Responsible government would be the means of bringing 
them closely together and causing them to respect each 
other and work in unison for the common good. 

The eastern province, having fewer representatives and 
being far from the seat of government, would be at the 
mercy of the west. 

Reply. No ministry in which the east was not fairly 
represented could exist over a single session. 

Responsible government would be accompanied by corrup- 
tion and plunder. A ministry in office would not hesitate 
to purchase support to retain its position. 

Reply. There was no greater likelihood of corruption of 
that kind under responsible government than under the 
existing system, and at any rate the ministers, holding their 
seats as long as a majority in parliament chose to support 
them, would be careful not to expose themselves to be called 
to account for their conduct. 

The arrangement of matters relating to the Bantu in the 
Transkeian territorv and in Basutoland had been carried out 

1S71] Sir Henry Barkly. 125 

by the high commisaioner under instructions from the im- 
perial authorities, without reference to the colonial parliament, 
and Great Britain was thus responsible for the defence of 
the frontier. If responsible government was adopted, that 
burden would to a certainty be thrown upon the colony. 

Reply. Whether responsible government was adopted, 
or whether the existing system remained in force, would make 
no difference whatever in that respect. The imperial troops 
in South Africa had already been greatly reduced in number, 
and there was no hope of their being increased again, In 
any case the colony would have to protect its frontiers, and 
it was therefore better that the policy to be pursued towards 
the Bantu in future should be directed b}^ those upon whom 
the burden of defence would fall. 

Lastly, the provinces should first be separated and each 
provided with a local government, when a federal adminis- 
tration for general purposes might be adopted under the 
responsible system. 

Reply. Responsible government should first be adopted, 
and then the question of separation into two, three, or more 
provinces, to be followed by federation, could be more 
satisfactorily settled. 

Mr. (afterwards Sir) T. C. Scanlen, one of the members for 
Cradock, brought forward a motion " that it is expedient 
that the colony should be divided into three or more pro- 
vincial governments for the management of their own 
domestic aflTairs," but it was rejected. 

Mr. Smith's amendment was then put, and was lost by 
thirty-two votes against twenty -five. 

Mr, Molteno's original motion was carried on the 9th of 
June by^ thirty-one votes against twenty-six, twelve eastern 
province members voting with the majority. The last clause 
had, however, been modified in the hope of conciliating the 
eastern members, and now read : " And as it is expedient 
that the colony should be divided into three or more 
provincial governments for the management of their own 
domestio affairs, formed into a j^ederatiye union under % 

126 History of the Cape Colony. [1871 

general government for the management of aflfairs affecting 
the interest and relations of the united colony, this house 
is of opinion that his Excellency the governor should be 
requested, by respectful address, to appoint a commission to 
inquire into and report upon the arrangements which may 
be necessary for the introduction and establishment of such 
provincial governments, with the federation thereof." 

On the following day the governor was requested to 
submit a bill to effect the necessary change in the constitu- 
tion, which he consented to do without any delay. Mr. 
Griffith, the attorney - general, expressed a desire that he 
should not be called upon to frame the bill, as he disap- 
proved of the measure, so the governor applied to Mr. 
Porter, the retired attorney - general, who was then one of 
the members for Capetown. That gentleman drew up a 
bill, which was introduced in the house of assembly and 
read the first time on the 15th of June. It provided for 
the creation of two new heads of departments, one to be 
termed the commissioner of crown lands and public works, the 
other the secretary for native affairs. The colonial secretary, 
the treasurer, tlie attorney - general, the commissioner of 
crown lands and public works, and the secretary for native 
affairs could be elected as members of either the house of 
assembly or the legislative council, and could take part in 
debates in both houses, but each could only vote in the one 
of which he was a member. It was not to be absolutely 
necessary that every one of these officials should be a 
member of parliament at the time of his appointment, a 
provision that was made in case there should not be in 
either house an individual specially qualified for any of 
the offices at the time of the formation of a ministry. The 
salaries of the ministers were fixed, that of the colonial 
secretary at £1,200, and that of each of the others at £1,00C^ 
a year. They were not to be entitled to pensions upon 
retiring from office. 

On the 30th of June Mr. Molteno moved the second 
reading of the bill, and an animated debate followed, in 

1871] Sir Henry Barkly, 127 

which the same arguments for and against were used as 
already given. 

On the 5th of July the voting took place on an amend- 
ment that the bill be read that day six months. For this 
there were twenty- eight votes, and thirty -four were given 
against it. The division showed the responsible government 
party to be strongest comparatively in the midland districts, 
to be nearly twice as strong as its opponents in the west, 
and to be almost non - existent in the east. The western 
districts gave twenty - one votes for it, and eleven against, 
namely for responsible government Beaufort West, Malmes- 
bury, Paarl, Piketberg, Victoria West, and Worcester, each 
both votes ; Caledon. Clanwilliam, George, Oudtshoorn, 
Riversdale, each one vote for and one against, Capetown 
two votes for and two against, Stellenbosch one vote for, 
the other member for this division being the speaker, the 
Cape division two votes against, and Namaqualand one vote 
against, the other member for this division being absent. 

The midland districts gave twelve votes for responsible 
government, and only two against, namely for responsible 
government Colesberg, Cradock, GraafF-Reinet, Richmond, and 
Somerset East, each both votes ; Port Elizabeth and 
Uitenhage, each one vote for and one against. 

The eastern districts gave but one vote for responsible 
government, and fifteen against it, namely against responsible 
government Albany, Albert, Aliwal North, Fort Beaufort, 
Grahamstown, and Victoria East, each both votes ; East 
London and Queenstown, each one vote, the other members 
for these divisions not being present; and King -Williams- 
town one vote against and one vole for it. 

Mr. Molteno's motion was carried without a division, and 
the bill then passed into the committee stage, when the 
opponents of responsible government left the house, so that 
it went through at once without any alterations of impor- 
tance. On the 12th of July it passed the third reading 
without a division, and on the 14th was read the first time 
in the legislative council. This house had not been dis- 

128 History of the Cape Colony, [1871 

solved by Sir Philip Wodehouse when he appealed to the 
colony to decide upon the form of government, and its 
members had not been specially returned on that issue. 

The question was hotly debated, and on the 21st of July 
when the bill came on for the second reading it was thrown 
out by twelve votes against nine. Of the members in its 
favour, seven represented the western province — the honour- 
able Messrs. John Barry, Dr. F. L. C. Biccard, J, A. van 
der Byl, G. J. de Korte, M. L. Neethling, J. Vintcent, and 
Dr. H. White, — and two the eastern province^ — the honour- 
able xMessrs. C. L. Stretch and F. K. Te Water. Of the 
twelve members opposed to it, eight represented the eastern 
province — the honourable Messrs. S. Cawood, J. C. Chase, 
W. Fleming, R. Godlonton, J. C. Hoole, D. K. Kennell}^ P. 
W. Scholtz, and G. Wood, — and four the western province — 
the honourable Dr. J. M. Hiddingh, and Messrs. P. E. de 
Roubaix, W. A. J. de Smidt, and H. T. Vigne. 

The rejection of the bill by the legislative council was 
learnt with regret by the secretary of state for the colonies, 
who wrote, however, that at the same time it was satis- 
factory that the measure had received so considerable an 
amount of support, and he did not doubt that before 
long responsible government would supersede the existing 
anomalous system. 

In accordance with the request of the house of assembly, 
on the 24th of June the governor appointed a commission, 
consisting of the honourable Robert Godlonton, Petrus 
Emanuel de Roubaix, and John Centlivres Chase, members 
of the legislative council, and Messrs. Jeremias Frederik 
Ziervogel, John Charles Molteno, Charles Abercrombie Smith, 
and John Henry de Villiers, members of the house of 
assembly, to inquire into and report upon the question of 
federation, and in connection therewith : 

** 1. Whether the good government of the entire colony would not 
be facilitated, and the contentment and progress of certain portions 
thereof promoted, by its division into provinces, each province having 
its own legislature, to legislate for local and private purposes only, 

187 1 ] Sir Henry Barkly. 129 

" 2. If so, into how many provinces should the colony be divided, 
and of wliich of the present electoral divisions, or parts of electoral 
divisions, or other territories, should each province consist ? 

" 3. Whether the model presented by the dominion of Canada 
should be _ followed, the constitution of the colonial parliament and 
provincial legislatures, and their relative powers and functions, being in 
all respects the same as provided by the imperial act of 30th Victoria, 
cap. 3 ? 

"4. If not, what the constitution of the provincial legislatures should 
be ? Whether they should be composed of two chambers, or of one 
only ? What the qualifications of electors and members respectively ? 

" 5. Whether the colonial parliament should continue to be 
convenable as provided in the constitution ordinance of 1852, and at 
what towns or places the legislature of each province should meet ? 

" 6. If the distribution of legislative powers set forth in the sixth 
part of the imperial act of 30th Victoria, cap. 3, be not followed, what 
subjects should be specially withdrawn from the legislative power of 
the provincial legislatures and reserved for the colonial parliament '? 
Should the borrowing of money for the execution of public works 
within any particular province be on the credit of the colony or of 
the province, and what apportionment should be made of the debts 
or liabilities already incurred, both for public works as well as for 
general colonial purposes *? 

"7. Ought the colonial parliament to possess the power of rescinding 
or amending the acts of the provincial legislatures, especially such as 
it may consider to have been passed ultra vires ? 

" 8. Whether it will be necessary that the crown should be 
represented in each province by some functionary resident therein ? 
If so, what should be his powers and duties, and how should he be 
appointed and designated ? 

"9. Supposing such a functionary to be necessary, should he be 
assisted by a local executive council ? If so, of whom should it be 
composed ? And should its members be removable on losing the 
confidence of the provincial legislature under the system commonly 
called responsible government % 

" 10. Should the governor of the colony, acting with the advice of 
his executive council, have any, and if so, what power to direct the 
provincial executive to adopt any measure which he may reo^ard as 
expedient for the general welfare ? Or should such governor in council 
have power to rescind or amend such acts of the provincial executive 
as he may consider prejudicial to the colony at large ? 

'' 11. What would be the probable expenditure requisite for the 
support of each provincial government, stating the estimated items in 
detail ? 

" 12. What would be the probable amount of revenue at the disposal 
of each provincial government ? " 


130 History of the Cape Colony. [1871 

Mr. Molteno being obliged to resign on account of ill 
health, Mr. William Porter, formerly attorney - general and 
now member of the house of assembly for Capetown, was 
appointed in his stead. The commission issued circulars to 
all the divisional and municipal councils and to one hundred 
and sixty - eight prominent private individuals, requesting 
them to state their views ; and they also took a good deal 
of verbal evidence. Only sixteen out of forty-seven divisional 
councils, three municipal councils out of thirty - two, and 
thirty - two out of the hundred and sixty - eight private 
individuals took the trouble to reply, showing that interest 
in the question, especially in the western districts, was by 
no means widespread ; and the opinions given were most 
conflicting. The midland districts, that is the western part 
of the eastern province, in which — except at Port Elizabeth 
—Dutch speaking colonists were in the majority, objected 
strongly to any change that would bring them under a 
Grahamstown government, but were not unwilling to be 
formed into a distinct province themselves. King- Williams- 
town and East London also preferred to let things remain 
as they were rather than form part of a province with 
Grahamstown as its capital, Grahamstown objected to the 
midland districts being constituted a separate government, 
in short, the views and interests of every place in the east 
seemed opposed to the views and interests of every other 

On the 23rd of March 1872 the commission sent in a 
report in which they stated that they were unable to agree 
among themselves or to reconcile the different views expressed ; 
but the majority of the members proposed for consideration 
the draft of a bill by which the powers and functions of the 
existing parliament should be preserved intact, and that if 
divided into provinces at all, the colony should be divided 
into three, each with an assembly for the control of purely 
local matters. In that case each province should elect seven 
members of the legislative council, and the house of assembly 
should remain unchanged. 

1 871] Sir Henry Barkly. 131 

Very little interest was taken in the matter by the general 
public in the west, or even in the midland districts. The 
British settlers who had been warm advocates of it, in the 
hope that it would lead to the eastern province intact being 
constituted a separate government, finding it impossible to 
carry that measure, had no wish to press the subject further 
until a more favourable opportunity should occur. It was 
therefore allowed to pass out of notice in the shade of the 
important change that was then taking place. 

In the session of parliament in 1871 a new district on 
the north-eastern border of the colony, formed of parts of the 
divisions of Aliwal North, Albert, and Queenstown, to which 
on the 5th of January the name Wodehouse had been 
given by proclamation, was constituted a fiscal division. A 
civil commissioner and resident magistrate was appointed, 
and was directed to hold his court at Dordrecht, a village 
founded in 1857. 

An act was passed for raising by loan a sum of £100,000 
at five per cent yearly interest, upon security of the colonial 
revenue, to improve the harbour of East London according to 
the plans of Sir John Coode, but not more than £15,000 was 
to be raised in any year. Wharfage dues were to be levied 
to reimburse the treasury wholly or partly for this expen- 
diture. The design of the works was to narrow the mouth 
of the river by means of training walls, in order to increase 
the scouring force of the tide setting out and so to clear away 
the bar, and an outer breakwater was to be constructed to 
prevent the sand being thrown back again. While the 
survey by Mr. Neate was being made, there was a heavy 
fall of rain, which caused such a flood in the river that the 
bar was partly washed away, and it was evident that if the 
sand could be kept out a safe and commodious harbour, with 
a depth of water of twenty-five feet or 7*62 metres at low 
tide, would be open to shipping. In December 1871 a large 
gang of convicts commenced the lengthening of the training 
walls partly constructed years before, and under the direction 
and superintendence of Mr. Lester, a marine engineer sent 

132 History of the Cape Colony. [187 1 

out by Sir John Coode, the work progressed until the 
harbour of East London became, what it is to-day, a place 
where sailing ships and large ocean steamers can discharge 
and take in cargo almost as securely and easily as in any 
dock in the world. 

An act was also passed to incorporate a company that 
some merchants of Port Elizabeth proposed to form, with a 
capital of £75,000, to construct a line of railway and 
telegraph from Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage. The government 
reserved the right of constructing the first seven miles, or 
11'3 kilometres, from Port Elizabeth to the Zwartkops river, 
as that section would form part of any trunk line that it 
might thereafter be decided to lay down towards the interior. 
The sum of £30,000 w^as voted by parliament for this purpose. 
On the 9th of January 1872 the first sod of the Uitenhage 
branch was turned by Sir Henry Barklj^ at Rawson bridge 
with the usual ceremony. It had been anticipated that 
Kaffir labourers could be obtained to perform the rough 
work at Is. ^d. a day, and on this basis the calculations as 
to cost were made. But it was found that such cheap labour 
was not to be had, and even when 2s. 3cZ. a day was offered 
the supply was insufficient. There was further much 
delay in obtaining materials from England, so that progress 
in both sections of the work was very slow. In 1874 
parliament authorised the government to purchase the 
property of the Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage railway 
company, and it was only after this date that the line was 
completed, though the event here recorded was the 
commencement of the laying down of that network of 
railways which now covers the eastern part of the Cape 

On the 11th of August parliament was prorogued, when 
the governor in his closing speech expressed his regret 
that the bill to amend the constitution ordinance by removing 
all impediments to the system of responsible government 
was refused a second reading in the legislative council, 
for, irrespective of loss of time, other questions more or 

1871] Sh^ Henry Barkly. 133 

less dependent on such a change remained unsettled in 
consequence of its postponement. 

The most notable instance that ever occurred in the Cape 
Colony of damage caused by a sudden and violent fall of 
rain took place in this year 1871. At ten o'clock in the 
evening of the 27th of February most of the residents in 
the village of Victoria West, unsuspicious of danger of 
any kind, had retired to rest. The village, which stands 
twelve hundred and fifty metres or four thousand one 
hundred feet above the level of the sea, is built in a kloof, 
through which flows one of the feeders of the Ongars river, 
a tributary of the Orange, Suddenly the roar of rushing 
water was heard, and before the people in the lower part 
of the village could escape they were surrounded. A storm 
cloud had burst farther up the kloof, the stream had 
suddenly risen to a height unknown before, and was now 
rushing onward, sweeping not only light materials, but even 
huge boulders before it. The flood lasted until three o'clock 
in the,^ morning of the 28th, and when it subsided, it was 
found that over thirty houses had been washed away and 
sixty-two persons had been drowned. 




The question as to the future form of government occupied 
the attention of the colonists during the recess between the 
sessions of parliament, and the advocates of the responsible 
system were steadily gaining ground. The time was par- 
ticularly favourable for a calm discussion of the matter, as, 
the colony was enjoying greater prosperity than it had 
known for many years, and so the distorted views that 
always accompany depression were far from prevalent. The 
British settlers and their descendants in the main were still 
holding out against the introduction of parliamentary 
government, not from disregard of the merits of that 
system, but simply because they feared the domination of 
the western people. The extreme conservative party in the 
west objected to it, because they feared changes of any 
kind. On the eastern border, in the midland districts, and 
generally in the west a large majority of the white people 
were now in favour of it. The blacks with very few 
exceptions had no opinion either way, for they were 
incapable of understanding what was meant by ministerial 

On the 18th of April 1872 parliament assembled, when 
the governor made an opening speech of great length, of 
which the following were the first clauses : 

"So many questions of vital importance to the welfare of this colony 
urgently require solution that I have been led to seek at an earlier 
period than usual your advice and cooperation. 

"Foremost amongst these questions, because at the very root of 
legislation on all the others, stands that of an amendment in the 


1872] Sir Henry Barkly, 135 

defective and unsatisfactory relations established between the legislature 
and the executive government under the constitution act of 1854. 

'^ When I invited you a year ago to decide, one way or the other, the 
long agitated question of constitutional reform, I had been too short 
a time in the colony to warrant the expression of any decided opinion 
of my own as to the direction such reform ought to take. 

"1 held it, indeed, for an axiom that where representative institu- 
tions exist, government by parliamentary majority is the only system 
under which the opposing currents of local interests and party preju- 
dices can find their true level and run on in safe and proper channels ; 
but I could not feel altogether free from doubt as to whether the crown 
had not been induced to act prematurely in granting the boon of re- 
presentation to its South African subjects, and whether, consequently, 
its true policy at the present juncture might not be to endeavour to 
retrace the steps then taken, and regain, as far as possible, the authority 
with which it had parted. 

" Now, however, that I have had opportunity for careful obserration, 
I am bound to state my conviction that there is no ground for mis- 
trusting the use that the Cape colonists would make of political power ; 
while, on the other hand, were demonstration wanting of their due 
appreciation of political freedom, the well - sustained debates of last 
session, the able controversies which have been carried on in the 
columns of the colonial press, nay, the electioneering contests them- 
selves to which the agitation of the question of reform has given rise, 
afford the strongest proofs of the thorough fitness of the colonists to 
be entrusted with the uncontrolled management of their own affairs. 
Experience elsewhere leads me further to believe that whatever special 
difficulties they may have to contend with in so doing will be 
diminished by the promptitude of decision and unity of action incident 
to responsible government, instead of being enhanced, as now, by the 
uncertainty under which the executive must labour as to the views 
either house of parliament will entertain on any given subject, as well 
as by the suspicions to which it is always exposed of favouring one 
side more than the other, or of availing itself of divisions to carry out 
a policy of its own. 

"Even as regards the greatest difligulty of all, the remoteness of the 
seat of government, and the conflict of interests thereby created between 
the eastern and western districts, the jealousies engendered by which 
have for so many years impeded the construction of public works in 
both, and retarded in other ways the general prosperity of the colony, 
I cannot but think that the evenly balanced share which each would be 
soon found to command in the formation of any durable ministry, 
combined with the efi'ects of a readjustment of representation, and the 
increased powers of local self-government, which would follow in the 
wake of the more important constitutional change, would, ere long, 

136 History of the Cape Colony, [1872 

pub an end to struggles of this sort, or convert them into mere 
wholesome competition and harmless rivalry. 

"On these grounds, and because I can perceive no chance of making 
progress with any other measure until this be settled, I shall at once 
reintroduce, as I am authorised and instructed by her Majesty's 
government to do, the bill to amend the constitution in certain respects 
which I transmitted to the assembly last session, in pursuance of an 
address presented to me by the house. 

" With a view to avoid loss of valuable time, by limiting the issue to 
points already fully discussed, the bill will be sent down in the exact 
form it had assumed when thrown out on the motion for its second 
reading in the legislative council." 

Accordingly, on the 22nd of April the bill was introduced 
in the house of assembly as a government measure, and was 
read the first time. The attorney-general, Mr. W. D. Griffith, 
was absent in Europe on leave, and Mr. Simeon Jacobs, the 
solicitor-general, was acting in his stead. On the 17th of 
May he moved the second reading of the bill. 

Mr. J. T. Eustace moved, and Mr. C. A. Smith seconded, 
that it be read that day six months. 

The debate that followed covered the same ground as in 
the preceding session, and was continued with great anima- 
tion until the 28th, when the amendment was put to the 
vote and was lost by twenty-five against thirty-five. The 
original motion was carried by the same numbers reversed. 

The majority in favour of responsible government consisted 
of twenty-two western province and thirteen eastern province 
members, namely 

Mr. John Adams, member for Victoria West, Western province, 

„ E-udolph P. Botha, ,, Cradock, Eastern ,, 

„ Dirk van Breda, , , Caledon, Western „ 

,, Andries G. H. van Breda, ,, Malmesbury, „ „ 

„ James Buchanan, „ Victoria West, „ „ 

„ Robert M. Bowker, „ Somerset East, Eastern „ 

„ Jacobus A. Burger, „ Graaflf-Reinet, „ ,, 

„ John S. Distin, „ Colesberg, „ ,, 

„ Jacob Duckitt, „ ?^Ialmesbury, Western ,, 

„ Patrick Goold, „ King-W'mstown, Eastern „ 

„ Johannes Z. Human, „ Piketberg, Western ,, 

,, Bemardus J. Keyter, „ Oudtshoorn, „ „ 

„ Pieter Kock, ,. Richmond, Eastern ,, 


5e> Henry Bai'kly. 


Mr. Johannes J. Meiring, member for Worcester, Western province, 

. I >««•■■, ^J^-^f Woof. 










John C. Molteno, 
Hendrik L. Neethlmg, 
Henry W. Pearson, 
Petrus J. Pentz, 
William Porter, 
John S. Prince, 
Johannes J. Proctor, 
John Quin, 
Yincent Rice, 
Thomas C. Scanlen, 
Gideon J. H. Scheepers, 
Saul Solomon, 
John G. Sprigg, 
David Tennant,' 
Robert Torbet, 
Petrus B. van Rhyn, 
John H. de Villiers, 
Philippus J. A. Watermeyer, 
Gotlieb W^ B. Wehmeyer, 
Jacobus A. de Wet, 
Jeremias F. Ziervogel, 



55 . 






Beaufort West, 


Port Elizabeth, Eastern 

Paar], Western 

Capetown, „ 

Riversdale, ,, 

Paarl, ?5 

Fort Beaufort, Eastern 

Beaufort West, Western 

Cradock, Eastern 

Oudtshoorn, Western 


East London, 







Somerset East, Eastern 

GraafF-Reinet, „ 

5 5 








5 5 









The minority, or those opposed to the introduction of 
responsible government, consisted of sixteen easterns and 
nine westerns, namely 

Mr. Reuben Ayliflf, 
William Ayliff, 
Henry F. A. Barrington, 
Thomas D. Barry, 
William Bell, 
Henry W. Bid well, 
Hendrik W. van Breda, 
George Brown, 
George C. Clough, 
John T. Eustace, 
Joseph Gush, 
Thomas B. Glanville, 
Thomas A. King, 
William Knight, 
Samuel Loxton, 
Charles J. Manuel, 
John X. Merriman, 
Thomas Moodie, 
Joseph M. Orpen, 



















member for Uitenhage, 

Fort Beaufort, 
Victoria East, 
' Capetown, 
Victoria East, 
Port Elizabeth, 
Cape district, 
Aliwal North, 

Eastern province, 




















138 History of the Cape Colony, [1872 

Mr. John R. Ross, member for Namaqualand, Western province, 
„ George Slater, ,, Albany, Eastern 

,, Samuel Shawe, ,, Clanwilliam, Western 

„ Charles A. Smith, ,, King- W'mstovvn, Eastern 

„ Philip P. Stigant, „ Capetown, Western 

„ John S. Wright, „ East London, Eastern 

Only five members were absent from the house on this 
occasion, three easterns representing Albert, Aliwal North, 
and Colesbero^, and two westerns representing the Cape 
district and Swellendam. 

For a form of government that is preeminently English, 
eighteen Dutch speaking members and seventeen English 
speaking members voted, and against it were twenty - four 
English speaking and only one Dutch speaking member. 

On the 8rd of June the bill was read the third time in 
the assembly, and was immediately sent to the council. 
During the recess pressure had been put upon two of the 
members — Dr. Hiddingh and Mr. P. E. de Roubaix — by 
many of their constituents, to induce them to change their 
opinions, and they were now wavering. Deputations from 
all parts of the province at this juncture waited upon them 
with the request that they would give their votes for the 
change. Petition after petition in favour of responsible 
government was addressed to the council, and though a few 
were sent in against it, they served only to show, as the 
elections for the assembly had done, that the great majority 
of the people of the western province who took any interest 
at all in politics were in favour of the proposed system. 
Dr. Hiddingh and Mr. De Roubaix therefore changed sides 
when on the 11th of June Mr. Jacobs moved that the bill 
be read the second time, and Mr. Wood, seconded by Mr. 
Vigne, moved that it be read that day six months. 

For responsible government nine western and two eastern 
members voted, namely 

The honourable John Barry, ----- W^estern province, 
„ Dr. Francois Louis Charles Biccard, - „ 

„ Johannes Albertus van der Byl, - „ 

„ Dr. Jonas Michiel Hiddingh, - - „ 


Sir He7iry Batkly. 



The honourable Gilles Johannes de Korte, 

Marthinus Laurentius Neethlinof 
Petrus Emanuel de JRoubaix, 
Joseph Vintcent, 
Dr. Henry White, 
Charles Lennox Stretch, 
Frans Karel Te Water, 

Western province, 





Eastern province, 



The honourable 

' Samuel Cawood, . - - 


John Centlivres Chase, 


Henry Bailey Christian, 


Robert Godlonton, - . - 


James Cotterill Hoole, 


Dennis Harper Kennelly, - 


Pieter Wouter Scholtz, 


George Wood, - . - . 


Willem Anne Janssens de Smidt 


Henry Thomas Yigne, 

Against responsible government eight eastern and two 
western members voted, namely 

Eastern province, 







Western provmce, 


When in committee the minority made a strong effort 
to defeat the bill, but unsuccessfully. On the 12th of 
June it was read the third time, and was then reserved 
by the governor for the signification of her Majesty's 

The eight eastern members who were in the minority did 
not even yet cease their opposition. On the 17th of June 
they presented to the governor a formal protest against the 
introduction of responsible government, with a request that 
it should be forwarded to her Majesty. The principal reasons 
which they assigned were : 

*' Because the western province has always had the advantage of a 
parliamentary majority in both houses of parliament, by means of which 
the eastern province has been coerced, and representative institutions in 
this colony have been rendered thereby unreal and illusory. 

"Because, notwithstanding this perpetual majority in both houses of 
parliament, the eastern province members of the legislature have been 
subjected for eighteen years to great and serious disadvantages arising 
from their remoteness from the seat of government, and by the conse- 
quent loss and inconvenience of attending a parliament convened at a 
distance of from five hundred to eight hundred miles from their 
several homes. 

140 History of the Cape Colony, [1872 

"Because the eastern province, though labouring under these great 
disadvantages, contributes by far the largest amount to the general 
revenue of the colony, the latest complete official returns showing 
that for ^ the year 1870 the contribution by the eastern province 
exceeded that by the western by the sum of £79,301, while its 
expenditure was £52,109 below that of the western province. 

"Because the question of the policy of the government in respect to 
the native races in this country bears with undue pressure on the 
eastern province, the number being as two to one against the white 
population, while they have on their immediate border more than 
two hundred thousand souls, who have either been located or are 
recognised by the government, but over whom the eastern province 
has no control. 

" Because repeated and strenuous endeavours have been made in 
parliament by eastern province members, either to obtain the removal 
of the seat of government to a more central locality, or the establish- 
ment of local government ; but that such endeavours have been 
persistently defeated by the standing majority before mentioned. 

"Because the eastern province has felt it an intolerable grievance 
that its inhabitants, while contributing the largest share of the public 
revenue, and while exposed to and suffering from their contiguity to 
large masses of barbarian natives, should be under the domination of 
Capetown, a large proportion of the parliamentary members for the 
western province being residents of that city." 

In opposition to this protest Messrs. Stretch and Te 
Water, the other members of the legislative council for 
the eastern province, wrote to the governor that they 
entirely dissented from its contents, and were of the opinion 
that the introduction of partj^ government would be to 
the interest of the whole eastern province. They pointed out 
that the existing mode of election of members of the 
council prevented the midland districts from returning as 
many members as they were entitled to, so that the public 
opinion of the whole province was not properly represented 
by those who signed the protest. 

The statement that the eastern province contributed more 
to the general revenue than the western was also contra- 
dicted by many persons, and it was pointed out that the 
figures given by the protesting members were arrived at 
by including in eastern province revenue the customs 
duties and other charges on the whole of the goods that 

1872] St7' Hen7y Barkly. 141 

passed through Port Elizabeth to the republics and diamond 
fields beyond the Orange river and even to many districts 
in the western province. If these amounts were deducted, 
it was shown that the eastern province revenue would be 
greatly below that of the west. 

The eight objecting members next endeavoured to induce 
the council to pass a resolution in favour of the separation 
of the provinces into distinct colonies, and when that failed, 
they tried to press a resolution through recommending that 
the parliament should be summoned to meet in the east, 
which was likewise rejected. 

The inequality of representation of the two provinces 
in the house of assembly was being rectified while the 
constitution amendment bill was in progress in the legisla- 
tive council. On the 14th of June a bill, introduced by 
Mr. T. C. Scanlen, which constituted Wodehouse an electoral 
division with the right of returning two members, passed 
its second reading in the assembly. Now that responsible 
government was assured, the western members were not 
averse to increasing the voting power of the east, and this 
bill passed through all its stages in both houses and had 
effect from the next general election. There were at that 
time twenty thousand nine hundred and five registered 
electors in the western, and fourteen thousand four hundred 
and eighty-three in the eastern province.* In allotting 
thirty-four representatives to the latter as to the former, 
the principle was recognised that the disadvantages of 
distance from the seat of government gave a legitimate 
claim for compensation. 

The inequality in the legislative council was not disturbed, 
because the constitution of that body was regarded as 
unsatisfactory by many persons, and an attempt was being 
made to eifect a change in it. Owing to the mode of 
election, Capetown in the west and Grahamstown and 
Port Elizabeth in the east were able to return so many 

*The registration of 1873 showed 21,406 electors in the western and 
18,126 in the eastern province. 

142 History of the Cape Colony, [1872 

members that the country districts regarded themselves as 
practically disfranchised, though in a general election, by 
concentrating their votes, they could return a small number. 
As a remedy a resolution was at this time carried in the 
house of assembly : 

*' That in the opinion of this house a further amendment of the con- 
stitution ordinance is desirable, and that a division of the whole colony 
into five or more electoral circles for the purpose of electing the 
members of the legislative council would secure a more equal exercise 
of their franchise to the electors, and also a better distribution of 
representatives in that honourable branch of the legislature. That 
therefore his Excellency the governor be requested, by respectful 
address, to prepare a measure having this object to be submitted to 
parliament at its next session." 

In accordance with this resolution, in the session of 1873 
a bill was introduced to alter the mode of electing members 
of the legislative council by dividing the colony into seven 
circles instead of two provinces, each of which should return 
three members, to hold their seats for ten years. In the 
bill it was also proposed that the legislative council could 
be dissolved without the house of assembly as the house 
of assembly could be without the legislative council, or 
that both could be dissolved together. This proposal was 
very popular in the rural districts, but naturally met with 
less favour in the towns. The bill was carried in the house 
of assembly by a majority of thirty-five to sixteen, but was 
rejected by the council by the casting vote of the president. 
The members who opposed it spoke of it almost with 
indignation, as an act of political suicide, and especially 
as a proposal for the reform of one branch of the legislature 
made by the other. 

In 1874, however, an act was passed by which the colony 
was divided into seven electoral provinces, each of which 
was entitled to return three members to the legislative 
council, to hold their seats for seven years. Under this 
act the council could not be dissolved unless the house of 
assembly was dissolved at the same time. At a general 
election each elector could distribute his three votes or give 

1872] Sir Henry Barkly. 143 

all to one individual, as he might choose, thus providing 
for the representation of minorities. This act made the 
legislative council much more representative of the colony 
as a whole than it was before, and not the least of its good 
effects was the annulling of the old unnatural division into 
two provinces, one of which contained within itself elements 
of permanent discord. 

Meanwhile, after the passing of the responsible government 
act and before its approval by the queen, an agitation was 
carried on in those parts of the eastern province occupied 
by the British settlers, in favour of separation from the west 
and a local government. The old separation league was 
revived, and great meetings were held in Grahamstown and 
Port Elizabeth, at which the question was represented as 
one of the utmost importance. But it soon became evident 
that separation could not be carried out. In the districts 
that had once formed British Kaffraria public opinion was 
decidedly against it, and a border league was created 
purposely to oppose it. The people there called to mind the 
efforts made by the Grahamstown party to annex them to 
the Cape Colony against their will, and they declared they 
would never consent to be governed by that party. The 
people of the northern and western parts of the province, 
though less demonstrative, were almost as strongly opposed 
to breaking up the colony, so that the scheme had to be 

In the session of 1872, in addition to the act intro- 
ducing responsible government, various important measures 
w^ere passed. 

The imperial government had offered to contribute towards 
the construction of a graving dock within the enclosed 
harbour in Table Bay, and it was now resolved to commence 
the work, for which purpose parliament authorised the 
government to raise a loan of £30,000 at five per cent 
yearly interest. The negotiations with the imperial govern- 
ment fell through, however, and nothing was done in the 
matter until four years later, when the colonial government 

144 History of the Cape Colony. [1872 

undertook the work at its sole charge, and carried it to 
completion in 1882. 

It was resolved to commence the construction of railways 
on a large scale, and as a preliminary step the purchase of 
the existing line from Capetown to Wellington from the 
company that owned it was authorised. The price was 
arranged at £780,000, which was to be paid in debentures 
bearing interest at the rate of four and a half per cent per 
annum, and a sinking fund was provided for their redemption. 
The purchase was thereupon made, and on the first of 
January 1873 the line with all the station houses, rolling 
stock, and other materials connected with it became the 
property of the colonial government. 

It was intended to continue this line to Worcester by way 
of the Tulbagh kloof, where the earthworks had been nearly 
completed by order of Sir Philip Wodehouse, and also to 
construct a line from the Zwartkops to the Bushman's 
river. Acts were passed authorising the government to take 
possession of the ground necessary, and the sum of £40,000 
was voted towards the cost of the former and £100,000 
towards that of the latter, but it was only in 1873 that full 
legal authority for the construction of these lines and the 
raising of the requisite loan for the purpose was given. 

A survey for a line of railway from East London to 
Queenstown, with a branch to King-Williamstown, was also 

The new railways were to have a gauge of only forty-two 
inches or not quite a hundred and seven centimetres. They 
could be made at less cost than if the gauge was fifty-six 
inches and a half or a hundred and forty-three centimetres, 
as in the Capetown and Wellington line, and it was believed 
that they would answer all the purposes required nearly as 
well. The forty -two inches became from that time the 
standard gauge, and all the lines that now cover Africa 
south of the Zambesi have been constructed on it. 

It was further resolved to purchase the existing line of 
telegraph from the company that owned it, and the govern- 

T 8 7 2 1 v^^V Hen ry Ba rk ly. 145 

ment was auihorised to raise a loan of £45,000 at five per 
cent yearly interest for that purpose and £25,U00 additional 
for the construction of a line from Fort Beaufort towards 
the diamond fields. It took some time to arrange the 
purchase, and it was only on the 1st of July 1873 that the 
line from Capetown to King - Williamstown became the 
property of the colonial government. 

Every year of late a bill was brought before parliament 
for withdrawing grants for the salaries of clergymen of 
various churches, except to the existing recipients. Mr. 
Saul Solomon introduced it regularly, except in 1889, when 
Mr. William Porter brought it on. In that year it was 
defeated in the house of assembly by seven votes, in 1870 
it was defeated in the same house by two votes, in 1871 it 
was passed in the assembly by a majority of three votes, 
but was thrown out by the council, and in ]872 the 
majority in the assembly rose to eleven, but the council 
again rejected it by a majority of four. It was thus 
growing in favour, and in 1875 it was passed by both 
houses, and became the law of the colony. 

On the 31st of July, after the most eventful session in its 
history, parliament was prorogued. 

A petition to the queen puaying that her Majesty would 
withhold her consent to the constitution ordinance amend- 
ment bill until an appeal to the constituencies of the colony 
had been made was forwarded by the governor with the 
bill itself from nine members of the legislative council and 
the twenty-five members of the house of assembly who had 
opposed its passage through parliament. A similar petition 
from the chairman of a public meeting in Grahamstown 
also accompanied it. On the other side, an address signed 
by two members of the legislative council for the eastern 
province and twelve members of the house of assembly for 
eastern divisions was forwarded, in which it was asserted 
that " the people of that large portion of the eastern 
districts which they more especially represented, but who, 
under the system of election for the legislative council, could 

YOL. lY. L 

146 History of the Cape Colony. [1872 

not be represented in that council by a sufficient number of 
members of their own choice in proportion to their numbers, 
wealth, and standing in the colony, had long anxiously 
desired to have that system of government introduced ; 
that they, in concurrence with the feelings of their con- 
stituents, and from their own convictions, had strenuously 
supported the bill in its passage through both houses of 
parliament ; and that they, as well as their constituents, 
would feel greatly disappointed and aggrieved if any pro- 
ceedings by the minority of the members of either house 
of parliament or other persons should succeed in preventing 
the confirmation of the bill by her Majesty." 

As the introduction of responsible government was in 
accordance with the desire of the imperial authorities, and 
was also favoured by the governor, the protests against it 
were unsuccessful, and on the 9th of August Earl Kimberley 
forwarded an order in council in which the constitution 
ordinance amendment act was approved by her Majesty 
the queen. The arrangements necessary for making the 
change occupied some time after the receipt of the order, 
and on the 28th of November the act was promulgated by 

Mr. Southey was requested to form a ministry, but 
declined, on the ground that he would be unable to ob- 
tain sufficient parliamentary support. Mr. William Porter 
was next invited, but he also desired to be excused, as he 
was of advanced age and in feeble health. Mr. Molteno was 
then applied to, and on the 29th of November the names of 
the gentlemen whom he recommended^ and who were 
approved by the governor, were published in the Gazette. 
They ' were Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Charles Molteno, 
member of the house of assembly for Beaufort West, prime 
minister and colonial secretary, Dr. Henry White, member of 
the legislative council for the western province, treasurer of 
the colony. Advocate (afterwards Sir) John Henry de 
Villiers, member of the house of assembly for Worcester, 
attorney-general, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Charles Abercrombie 

1872] Sir Henry Barkly. i^'j 

Smith, member of the house of assembly for King- Williams- 
town, commissioner of crown lands and public works, and 
Mr. Charles Brownlee secretary for native affairs. The last 
office had been offered to Mr. T. B. Glanville, member of 
the house of assembly for Grahamstown, but his business 
arrangements would not permit his acceptance of it. Mr. 
Brownlee was then civil commissioner of Kino^-Williamstown, 
but he consented to retire from that post and to enter the 
ministry. He was admitted by every one to be the most 
competent man in the colony to deal with the Bantu. 
There was a vacancy in the representation of the division 
of Albert in the house of assembly, as Mr. F. H. Hopley, 
one of the members, had been absent without leave during 
the whole of the preceding session. Mr. Brownlee was now 
put forward and returned, and on the 27th of February 1873 
was gazetted as member for Albert. 

The first responsible ministry entered into office on the 
2nd of December 1872. Two of its members were from the 
eastern province, and every succeeding ministry to the 
present day has contained more than that number, so that 
the fear of western domination expressed by some of the 
eastern people in 1872 was perfectly groundless. While this 
is being written a ministry is in office, every member of 
which represents an eastern constituency, and there is not a 
single Dutch speaking individual in it ; but no one now 
attaches importance to the locality for which a minister has 
been returned, so thoroughly have the old territorial dis- 
tinctions been obliterated. As soon as the act was ratified 
by her Majesty, in all parts of the colony the people 
accepted the new form of government as established, and 
prepared to act in political matters in accordance with its 

Mr. (afterwards Sir) Richard Southey, the retired colonial 
secretary, received an appointment at the diamond fields, 
Mr. W. D. Griffith, the retired attorney-general, and Mr. J. 
C. Davidson, the retired treasurer-gensral, were awarded 
pensions, the former of £650, the latter of £700 a year. 

148 History of the Cape Colony, [1872 

With the introduction of responsible government the Cape 
Colony came into line with the other great self-ruling sections 
of the British empire, and for good or for evil its future 
destinies were in the hands of its own people. 

In 1872 there were still two battalions of imperial 
troops — the 75th and the 86th, — and a wdng of the 32nd. 
in South Africa. In July 1866 the 67th left, being replaced 
by the second battalion of the 11th, which in the same 
month returned enfeebled to South Africa from China. 
In May 1867 the second battalion of the 5th left 
for England, and was replaced at the same time by 
the second battahon of the 20th. In March 1868 the 
first battalion of the 10th left, and it was not replaced 
by another regiment. In July 1869 the 99th left for 
England, and was replaced by the 32nd. In June 1870 
the second battalion of the 11th left for England and 
the second battalion of the 20th for Mauritius. In May 
1867 a wing of the 86th arrived in South Africa from 
Gibraltar on the Vv^ay to Mauritius, and was detained at Port 
Elizabeth until December, when it proceeded to its destination. 
The remainder of the regiment arrived in October 1868, and 
was detained here owing to the prevalence of fever at 
Mauritius. In July 1870 the wing that had gone to that 
island returned, and was stationed in the Cape peninsula. 
In August 1870 the first battahon of the 9th left for 
England, and in January 1871 a wing of the 2nd battalion 
of the 20th returned from Mauritius, and remained here 
until December, when it left for England. In October 1871 
a wing of the 82nd left for Mauritius, and the 75th arrived, 
when one wing was stationed in Natal and the other in 
King-Williamstown. A wing of the 32nd remained on the 
eastern frontier. 

Thus within five years the imperial troops in South 
Africa were reduced from five battalions of infantry to two 
battalions and a half. Besides these a few artillerymen 
and engineers remained in the colony. This reduction was 
less than that indicated by the secretary of state in 1867, 

1872] Sir Hejtry Ba7'kly. 149 

but it wag much regretted by the frontier colonists. In 
January 1870 tlie British settlers sent a strong petition to 
the queen against further removal of troops, and in April 
of the same year the house of assembly forwarded a similar 
memorial. The secretary of state in reply promised to give 
the colony time to make arrangements for its own defence, 
but held out no hope that British soldiers would be kept 
in South Africa much longer, except to protect Natal and in 
the Cape peninsula for imperial purposes. 

The Cape Mounted Rifles were disbanded in 1870. On 
the 4th of June in that year the standards of the regiment 
were carried by Colonel Knight and some other officers of 
the disbanded corps to St. George's cathedral in Capetown, 
and were suspended therein after a religious service. 

The colony maintained for the defence of its eastern 
border a most efficient force of light cavalry, the frontier 
armed and mounted police, then numbering twenty-one 
officers, thirty-five non-commissioned officers, and five 
hundred and twenty- seven privates. There were four 
hundred and ninety volunteers in the various towns, and 
the burghers generally were liable to be called to arms for 
defensive purposes. 

Education was making fair progress. There were one 
liundred and sixty-six public schools in the towns and 
villages, attended by European children, and three hundred 
and forty-six mission schools, attended by coloured children, 
receiving aid from the government. Forty-six thousand two 
hundred and forty-five children were attending these schools 
at the close of the year. 

Under the mail contract the Union Com.pany was bound 
to send steamships from Southampton to Table Bay and 
back again twice in every month, the time allowed for a 
passage being thirty-seven days. But already there was a 
powerful rival line in existence, and the Castle Steamship 
Company, under the energetic management of Mr. (after- 
wards Sir) Donald Currie, was also sending steamers each 
way fortnightly, so that practically there was a weekly mail 

150 History of the Cape Colony. ,[1872 

from and to England. The Union Company's steamer 
Danube had made the run out in twenty-five days, and a 
still shorter passage had been made by the rival company's 
steamer Walr)ier Castle, of two thousand five hundred tons 
burden, which arrived in Table Bay twenty-four days and 
six hours after leaving England. The Union Company's 
fleet consisted of nine ocean steamers from a thousand and 
fifty-five to two thousand tons burden, a coaster of seven 
hundred and twenty-four tons, and a reserve ship. 

The need of a safe harbour at the mouth of the Buffalo 
river was once more shown by the wreck of a number of 
vessels there on Sunday the 26th of May 1872. At five 
o'clock in the morning the steamer Quanza, of nearly a 
thousand tons burden, partly laden with wool for England, 
snapped her cables, and was driven ashore on the eastern 
side of the mouth. It had been blowing a gale all night, 
but she had neglected to get up steam, and was helpless 
when her cables parted. An hour later she was followed 
by the brig Sharp, which struck on the same side of the 
river. At half past eight the barque Queen of May parted, 
* and was carried high up on the rocky shore on the western 
side of the mouth. At ten o'clock the brig Elaine struck 
on the eastern side, and was followed to the same shore a 
little later by the brig Martha, at noon by the brig Emma, 
and at half past two in the afternoon by the barque 
Refuge. Only two lives were lost, but much property was 
destroyed, as the Sharp, the Martha, and the Refuge were 
full of inward cargo, and the Queen of May, the Elaine, and 
the Evxma were only partly discharged. The roadstead was 
cleared of shipping. 

On Monday morning a wreck was seen on the coast about 
seven miles or eleven kilometres to the eastward, and the 
harbour master. Captain George Walker, immediately left 
with a lifeboat on a waggon to try to render assistance. 
On arriving opposite the wreck it was found that she had 
struck on a reef far out, and that it was impossible to get 
to her with the boat. On Tuesday the German coasting 

1872] wS/r Henry Barkly. 151 

steamer Bismarck came down from Natal, and on Wednes- 
day raorninpr took Captain Walker and the lifeboat from 
East London to the wreck, which was found to be the Jane 
Davies, a ship of eight hundred and forty-six tons burden, 
from Rangoon bound to Liverpool, with a cargo of rice and 
cotton. The gale had by this time abated, but the sea was 
stili breaking over the wreck, so that it was difficult for 
the lifeboat to get alongside. This was at last managed, 
however, when eighteen men and the captain's wife and 
little son were rescued. They had been lashed to the 
rigging since seven o'clock on Sunday evening, when the 
ship struck, and were then half dead from hunger and 
exposure. Five sailors had tried to get ashore with cork 
buoys, and four had succeeded, but the other perished. 

The imports and experts of the colony from 1868 to 
1872, the revenue for the same years, and the items of 
expenditure in 1871 and 1872 are shown in the following 

lonports and Exports of the Cape Colony. 

Imports. 1868. 1869. 1870. 1871. 1872. 

Port Elizabeth £916,915 £1,050,041 £1,184,492 £1,457,204 £2,339,503 







East London . . . 






Mossel Bay ... 






Port Alfred ... 






Simonstown ... 






Port Beaufort 






£1,883,590 £1,933,635 £2,237,507 £2,544,873 £4,210,526 


Pt. Elizabeth £1,553,603 £1,457,981 £1,858,185 £2,262,704 £3,137,400 

Capetown ... 388,110 462,829 448,066 945,381 1,188,023 

East London 112,460 27,899 33,169 69,234 142,343 

Mossel Bay 36,285 68,774 51,316 68,689 93,833 

Port Alfred 116,108 121,896 58,276 49,933 101,191 

Simonstown 648 310 3,833 11,889 3,281 

Port Beaufort 8,669 923 805 

£2,215,881 £2,139,689 £2,453,768 £3,408,635 £4,666,071 

152 History of the Cape Colony. [1872 

Ex'ports of the Cape Colony. 

1868. 1869. 1870. 1871. 1872. 

Wool £1,806,459 £1,602,528 £1,669,518 £2,191,233 £3,275,150 

Hides, skins, 

and horns 158,149 199,936 236,100 300,914 379,197 

Copper ore... 60,985 114,031 146,368 160,956 328,458 

Ostrich feathers 57,725 70,003 87,074 150,499 158,024 

Grain, flour, &c. 20,412 11,034 33,241 53,838 41,947 

Dried fish ... 20,670 21,267 25,976 25,367 17,408 

Preserved fruit 24,424 10,135 6,509 12,271 7,188 

Wine 13,549 18,905 14,741 11,016 15,246 

Horses 7,450 5,627 6,043 5,521 3,200 

Ivory 7,510 13,002 13,746 9,201 23,976 

Aloes 3,784 2,770 2,715 2,367 3,221 

Argol 980 1,586 1,541 2,941 3,633 

Diamonds ... ... ... 403,349 306,041 

Mohair ... ... ... 43,059 58,457 

Other S. African 

produce 33,784 68,805 210,196 36,103 44,925 

Total £2,215,881 £2,139,689 £2,453,768 £3,408,635 £4,666,071 

Revenue of the Cape Colony. 

1868. 1869. 1870. 1871. 1872. 

Customs duties £283,024 £295,682 £341,994 £384,808 £604,413 

Stamps and licenses 60,112 60,862 65,464 67,602 76,739 

Land revenue 49,382 57,507 65,969 80,687 104,280 

Transfer dues 40,804 39,123 35,239 35,667 52,540 

Postage 28,430 25,479 26,480 28,398 32,441 

Fines and fees 16,770 15,472 17,301 15,040 17,000 

Auction duty 11,637 11,167 12,301 12,054 17,489 

Bank notes duty 4,029 3,300 3,248 4,130 7,984 

Succession duty 3,433 6,389 4,776 4,067 6,969 

House tax ... ... 10,028 31,426 23,119 

£497,630 £514,961 £582,800 £663,879 £942,974 

Land sales 36,367 18,385 43,995 16,332 44,061 

Rents 153 1,051 1,014 1,296 1,840 

Sale of government 

property 458 992 l,0l4 866 628 

Reimbursements 22,403 14,301 27,150 26,672 28,229 

Miscellaneous 322 274 131 204 82 

Interest and premiums 5,778 2,988 4,104 3,083 3,629 

Special 2,445 5,235 ],186 23,330 18,443 

£595,556 £558,187 £661,394 £734,662 £1,039,886 


Sir Henry Barkly. 


Expenditure of the 


Border department 

L/lVll ••• ••• ••• ... 


Police and prisons ... 

Revenue department 

Works and buildings 

Conveyance of mails 



Pensions ... 



Roads and bridges ... 



Colonial military allowance 


Rent . . • ... 

yj tiier • • > ... • • < 

In 1872 £259,900 of the public debt was paid from the revenue. 

The diamonds shown on the preceding page as exported were only 
those entered at the customs, a far larger quantity went out of the 
country without its being possible to trace either their number or 

The adoption of responsible government is one of the 
most prominent dividing lines in the history of the Capo 
Colony, and it is fitting that . Tidth it the narrative of 
the olden times should end. Prior to this date the policy 
of the countrv was directed from a great distance bv men 
whose intentions were certainly good, but whose knowledge 
of the condition of things in South Africa was often 
extremely limited, and who were therefore liable to make 
great blunders. The ever present fear of increasing the 
pecuniary liabilities of an already overburdened treasury 
was natural and praiseworthy^, for the interests of Great 
Britain had necessarily to be considered as well as those 

Cape Colony. 



... £109,422 


• • 









































154 History of the Cape Colony. [^872 

of the colony ; but from want of local knowledge it led in 
many instances to the loss of pounds in the attempt to 
save pence. The withdrawal of the British flag from the 
Orange Eiver Sovereignty and from the Transkeian terri- 
tories can never be too deeply deplored, not only on account 
of the enormous amount of blood and treasure which those 
measures occasioned, but — in the latter case — because the 
progress of civilisation was thereby retarded and barbarians 
were planted where Europeans, without wronging others, 
could have settled and thriven. 

The wave of fanaticism that had passed over England 
was already beginning to subside, though it had not yet 
entirely disappeared. It had obliterated many abuses, had 
for ever swept away the horrible trafBc in human beings, 
and had borne much hope on its crest for the inferior 
races of men. But it had done much harm also. It took no 
heed of the differences that nature has made between 
Caucasians and barbarians, but threatened to bring all to 
a common level. Under the old system of government the 
colony was often powerless in opposition to the pressure that 
the great philanthropic societies could bring to bear 
upon the imperial authorities ; now it was free to act in 
accordance w^ith what was for the benefit of all. 





HEALTH 26th OF JULY 1865, AND 


AUGUST 1865. 



OF AUGUST 1865 TO 24tH of MAY 1867. 


OF JULY 1872. 


The progress of Natal from 1857 to 1872 was as rapid as 
could reasonably have been expected of a colony which did 
not attract European settlers in large numbers. The swarms 
of Bantu upon its soil deterred those who were leaving 
Great Britain for other lands from selecting it as a suitable 
place in which to endeavour to make new homes, as it was 
feared that neither life nor property would be safe in 
presence of such a host of barbarians. The resources of the 
government also were too slender to do much in the way 
of assisting immigrants, either by providing free passages 


156 History of Natal. [i860 

or offering employment on large public works. People 
resident in the colony could indeed get out relatives and 
friends from Great Britain by guaranteeing to repay within 
twelve months to the government £10 towards the cost of 
passage of each statute adult, but the number thus introduced 
was very small. From 1857 to the close of 1864 it 
amounted only to one thousand seven hundred and three 
individuals, and during the next four years it averaged less 
than a hundred a year, when it ceased altogether. 

Great hopes were entertained that large numbers of 
settlers would be introduced by an association termed the 
Natal Land and Colonisation Company, which was formed 
in England in December 1860, with a capital of £225,000 in 
£10 shares. This company had acquired from speculators 
who took part in its formation two hundred and fifty 
thousand acres of land in the colony at lis. 6(i. an acre, 
payable in shares, and it professed to have in view the 
settlement of Europeans upon its property. But it never 
did anything to promote colonisation. On the contrary, it 
commenced its operations by leasing ground to Bantu, and 
finding that method of realising large dividends answer, it 
continued the system until any attempt to disturb its tenants 
would have been dangerous. A few years later it was 
receiving as much as twenty-eight shillings on an average as 
yearly rental from the proprietor of each hut upon its estates. 
And this method of making money, so detrimental to the 
interests of the colony, was followed by many other large 
landowners, until Natal became like a huge Bantu location 
with a few centres of European industry in it. 

In accordance with proposals made by an immigration 
board, in 1865 the legislative council adopted a scheme of 
encouraging immigrants, under which tracts of land in the 
southern part of the colony suitable for agricultural purposes 
were to be laid out in plots varying in size from fifty to one 
hundred and fifty acres, passages were to be given to selected 
persons on payment of £5 for each statute adult, who should 
receive an order for ground to the value of £10, but not a 

1 866] induce meitis to hnglUh I?n7nigrants. 157 

title to it until after two years occupation. As crown lands 
after July 1858 could be sold in freehold only at an upset 
price of four shillings an acre, this was equivalent to an offer 
of fifty acres free for each adult in a family. Further, crown 
lands were to be offered on lease at fourpence an acre for 
seven years, with the riojht of purchase at ten shillings an 
acre, subject to occupation and improvement. Dr. Robert 
James Mann, superintendent of education, was detached for 
special service for two years, and was sent to England to 
endeavour to procure settlers under this scheme. 

Mr. Card well, who was then secretary of state for the 
colonies, disapproved of the plan, however, on the ground 
that none but persons of the labouring class would be 
attracted by it, and for them, in his opinion, there was no 
room in Natal. Already out of eleven and a half millions of 
acres in the colony, over seven millions had been granted to 
individuals, while only thirty - eight thousand acres were 
cultivated, and the whole European population amounted 
to little over sixteen thousand souls. He suggested the 
imposition of a land tax, which would cause speculators to 
sell, and thus attract ' immigrants with capital as cultivators. 
But on the 6th of July 1866 the earl of Carnarvon succeeded 
Mr. Cardwell at the colonial office, and very shortly after- 
wards he consented to Dr. Mann making an efiTort to procure 
settlers on the following conditions : 

Blocks of land suitable for agriculture were to be selected 
and laid out in plots of two hundred acres each, which were 
to have a good road along them. Every alternate plot was 
then to be offered as a free gift to a family possessed of 
capital to the amount of £500, but the title would not be 
given until after two years continuous occupation. The 
grantee was to have the right of purchasing the vacant 
plot adjoining his own at any time within five years at 
ten shillings an acre. Tracts of land suitable for pastoral 
purposes only were to be laid out in plots of fifteen hundred 
acres each, and ofi'ered on leases of five years at two pence 
an acre, with the right of purchase of a small area within 

158 History of Natal, [1867 

the boundaries. And to suit people of ver}^ limited means, 
plots fifty acres in size, with a right to the use of a 
commonage, were to be offered as free grants to agriculturists 
who could pay £5 towards the cost of passage of each 
statute adult in their families and give proof of their ability 
to maintain themselves for six months. 

Under these conditions Dr. Mann endeavoured to obtain 
a suitable class of emigrants from Great Britain, but met 
with very little success. Already the number of agricul- 
turists in England had greatly diminished, owing to the 
repeal of the corn laws, and those who remained showed no 
inclination to remove to a country occupied mainly by 
barbarians. Townspeople could have been had, but these 
were not needed, as they would be consumers, not producers 
of anything that could find a market. 

A few families from Great Britain, a rather larger number 
from the Cape Colony, and some little parties from different 
European countries, however, migrated to Natal at this time. 
A band of settlers, ninety individuals in all, had been sent 
from Holland by the Netherlands Emigration Company, and 
in September 1858 had been located at a place which they 
called New Gelderland, a few kilometres north of the 
XJmvoti river. Being under the direction of an able and 
enterprising man, Mr. T. W. Colenbrander by name, the 
majority of these people had been successful in making 
comfortable homes, and this being reported in Europe 
attracted some notice. They turned their attention chiefly 
to cane growing, and in 1872 the largest sugar mill in the 
colony was on their estate. 

In 1869 and 1870 the diamond fields along the lower 
course of the Vaal, then recently discovered, attracted many 
of the inhabitants of Natal, and at this time and for several 
years to come the number of Europeans who abandoned the 
colony was in excess of those who entered it. Among 
them was a young man whose name has become famous 
throughout the world, — Cecil John Rhodes, — who had for 
some time been farming unsuccessfully. 

ig^yj hitroduction of Cooties. i^g 

But if European immigration was small, people of 
another race were beginning to make their appearance in 
Natal, people who were destined in later years to eject 
the white man from many occupations and to alter the 
whole conditions of life in the colony. Owing to the 
precarious supply of rough field labour afforded by the 
Bantu, sugar, coffee, and cotton planting could not be 
carried on with any prospect of success, and as early as 
1856 the legislative council approved of the introduction 
of coolies from Hindostan and requested the lieutenant- 
governor to make regulations regarding them. No one 
appears to have foreseen that these people would ever be 
anything but rough labourers, and no objection was there- 
fore made to the measure. It was supposed indeed that 
they would be desirous of returning to India when their 
term of service had expired, so that their temporary 
presence could do no possible harm. 

Indians were therefore brought over at the public expense 
in the first instance, the planters to whom they were allotted 
as labourers binding themselves to repay to the government 
within a stated time the cost of their passages. The men 
were to receive wages at the rate of 10s. a month for the 
first year of service, lis. a month the second year, and 12s. a 
month the third year ; they were to be comfortably lodged, 
to be provided with proper medical attendance when ill, and 
to be supplied with rations consisting of a pound and a half 
(680*38 grammes) of rice or two pounds (907*18 grammes) of 
stamped maize a day, besides two pounds of dholl, two pounds 
of salted fish, one pound of ghee or oil, and one pound of salt 
a month. Females and boys undet ten years of age were to 
receive half rations, and were to be at liberty to make what 
terms they could with the employers of the heads of their 
families. Upon the expiration of their terms of service they 
were to be provided with free return passages to India. 
Cheaper labour than this could hardly have been desired. 

Various enactments were made in the following years 
concerning the introduction of coolies. In 1859 a law was 

i6o History of Natal. [1870 

passed which prohibited labourers being brought from the 
East, except from British India, without a special license from 
the lieutenant-governor, under penalty of a fine of £50 or 
three months imprisonment, and the persons so attempted to 
be brought in were to be sent back at the cost of the owner, 
agent, or master of the ship. But beyond this no attempt 
was made to prevent Natal from becoming an Asiatic 

All coolies introduced were required to be transferred by 
the master of the ship to an officer entitled the protector of 
immigrants, whose duty it was to see that they were treated 
according to the regulations. 

In 1864 the council resolved to raise a loan of £100,000 at 
six per cent interest per annum, for the purpose of intro- 
ducing coolies. One third of the passage money was to be 
paid by government. The term of assignment to planters was 
extended from three to five j^ears, and the rate of wages 
was fixed at 14s. a month for the fourth year and 15s. a 
month for the fifth. 

Before the close of 1865 nearly six thousand coolies had 
been introduced, and as yet no evil effects were felt from 
their presence. The demand for European skilled labour 
had increased, as overseers, engineers, and mechanics were 
required on the plantations ; and those Indians who preferred 
to remain in the colony after the expiration of their term of 
service, rather than return to their native country, had 
accepted employment as domestics or labourers. Colonists 
who had experienced the want of reliable servants were 
therefore not only willing but anxious that more should be 
introduced, and that some of them should remain in Natal 

This feeling gained ground until 1870, when a law was 
enacted that every coolie should be entitled to a free passage 
back to India after ten years residence in the colony, five 
years of which must have been passed as a contracted 
labourer, but if he did not care to return he could have 
Qrown land to the value of the passage. Most of the coast 

1867] Eff^(^i^ of Indian Immigration. 161 

lands south of Durban were then occupied by Bantu, and 
the best of those north of the port were possessed by 
Europeans, or Natal might have become an Indian colony 
under the operation of this law. 

The indentured Indians were followed by others of the 
trading class, who came from diiFerent parts of Southern 
Asia as free immigrants, and who could not then be 
excluded, although from the first it was recognised that 
they were a menace to the Europeans. 

Gradually- — almost imperceptibly — these people and the 
coolies, who had no interest in returning to Hindostan, but 
a very strong interest ia remaining in the pleasant country 
that afforded them the means of obtainins^ a comfortable 
livelihood, got into their hands almost all the easy occu- 
pations that in the early days it was hoped white men 
would have secured. Europeans with the ordinary standard 
of living could not compete as petty traders, as market 
gardeners, or in light mechanical pursuits with men who 
could thrive on a fifth part of the same returns, and were 
thus compelled to abandon the field. The elimination of 
this class of persons gave a preponderance to those who 
benefited for the time beinof bv coolie labour, and who were 
content to resign the hope of Natal becoming a European 
settlement or the wish that she should advance in a line 
with the other great communities in South Africa. The 
security of the colony was affected, for the Indians contribute 
nothing to its defence. It is thus a land of planters using 
chiefly imported coloured labour, and of conveyancers of 
goods to and from the interior. 

To secure as much as possible of the trade of the territories 
beyond the Drakensberg became now the first object of the 
government and the people. The customs duties on goods 
imported from oversea were made considerably lower than 
those of the Cape Colony, being after the 1st of July 1867 
only six per cent of the declared value of all articles not 
admitted free or specially classified. Strenuous efforts were 
made to improve the entrance to the harboui', by the 


1 52 History of Natal. [1867 

construction o£ piers that it was hoped would cause the 
removal of the bar. Unfortunately much money was wasted 
in this undertaking, thou^-h the first plan adopted was a 
o-ood one^ as has been proved in recent times. While it was 
being carried out, however, another, very dissimilar, which 
had been designed by Captain Vetch, of the harbour depart- 
ment of the admiralty, was substituted, and the earlier work 
was abandoned. Money was raised by the government on 
loan for twenty-three years at six per cent interest per 
annum, as a first charge upon the revenue of the colony, 
and was expended upon a pier that afterwards proved 

To convey goods from the landing place at the Point to 
Durban over the heavy sand that intervened, in June 1859 
a local company was incorporated with a capital of £10,000, 
and the first railroad in South Africa was constructed. In 
1860 it was opened for traffic. In 1865 the government 
resolved to construct a line from some quarries on the 
Umgeni river to a junction on the Durban-Point railway, 
and to extend the latter to the harbour works, chiefly for 
the conveyance of stone. This railway was opened for 
traffic on the 23rd of January 1867. For convenience in 
working it was leased to the Natal Railway Company, and 
was controlled by that association. 

In 1864 the construction of a lighthouse on the Bluff was 
resolved upon by the government. An iron tower 24*69 
metres in height, was erected, and a revolving light was first 
exhibited from it on the 1st of January 1867. 

Roads fit for traffic by bullock waggons were made to 
the borders of the two republics, and bridges were con- 
structed over several of the rivers. Unfortunately, during 
a great flood which occurred at the end of August 1868 
most of these bridges were washed away, and much damage 
was otherwise done. From four o'clock in the afternoon 
of the 28th to six o'clock in the morning of the 31st of that 
month twelve and three quarters inches, or 32'36 centimetres, 
of rain fell at Maritzburg and sixteen inches and a half, or 

1863] Prodtcction of Stcgar, Cotton, and Coffee. 163 

41 '88 centimetres, at Durban, so that the rivers rolled down 
in mighty floods, sweeping everything away before them. 

Sugar planting had now become the principal industry 
along the coast north of Durban. With experience it had 
been ascertained that the situations selected by the first 
cultivators were not by any means the most suitable for 
the growth of the canes, but large areas of land well 
adapted for the purpose had been brought under cultivation. 
There had been many failures in this industry, owing to 
want of sufficient capital and experience, but new planters 
throve upon the wrecks of the old. In 1872 there were six 
thousand two hundred and eighty acres of ground under 
cane, and the sugar produced amounted to 8,795,000 
kilogrammes or eight thousand six hundred and thirty- 
eight tons avoirdupois. There were then eighty- three steam 
factories for crushing cane and making sugar in the colony. 

The civil war in the United States of America caused a 
great scarcity of cotton in England and a consequent rise 
in the price of that article, which induced many persons in 
Natal to turn their attention again to its production, 
especially as Indian labour was now available. In 1861 
it was taken in hand, and found to grow well even in 
some situations on the second terrace from the coast. But 
in addition to the occasional destruction of crops by drought, 
floods, frost, hail, and high winds — to all of which Natal is 
subject, though losses from such causes are not more 
frequent there than in England itself — the charges for 
carriage to Europe were then excessively high and the 
cotton plant was attacked by insects to such an extent that 
the industry never proved profitable, and after efibrts 
extending over several years its cultivation was abandoned. 

In 1863 coflfee, which had long been grown in Nata', 
though not to any large extent, suddenly became a favourite 
article of production, and many plantations on a considerable 
scale were laid out. It was subject to the same drawbacks 
as cotton, except from insects, but for many years it throve, 
and came to be regarded as a permanent product of the 

164 History of Natal. [1872 

colony. In 1872 there were three thousand seven hundred 
acres of orround laid out as coffee plantations, and the crop 
of that year amounted to 768,864 kilogrammes or one 
million six hundred and eighty thousand five hundred 
pounds, when ready for the market. 

Wheat, though it grows well in various parts of the high 
terraces, never was cultivated to a large extent. It could 
not be conveyed to the lower country at a price that would 
enable it to compete with sea-borne grain from America or 
Australia, and consequently the bread used in Durban and 
along the coast was made of imported flour. In 1872 there 
were only nineteen hundred acres of land in Natal -oroducinor 
wheat. The colonists found maize more profitable. It was 
easily cultivated, the returns were large, and it supplied 
the most suitable food for coloured servants and for fattening 
hogs. It could often be purchased at a cheap rate from the 
Bantu in the locations, but this source of supply was not 
depended upon. In 1872 the colonists had over sixteen 
thousand five hundred acres of ground planted with maize. 
Oats and barley were cultivated to a considerable extent, 
solely as food for horses. The variety and quality of 
vegetables and fruit grown in the gardens and orchards 
wherever Europeans lived were not excelled in any country 
of the world. 

In 1871 a very destructive disease, termed red water, made 
its appearance among the horned cattle on the coast lands, 
and soon spread over the colony, almost paralysing for a 
time the transport of goods to the interior and causing great 
loss to the farmers. 

During this period great progress was made in promoting 
education and in perfecting judicial institutions. 

A high school and a common school were established in 
Maritzburg and in Durban, supported by the government, 
and schools of a less pretentious character, aided by public 
funds, were scattered over the colony. In 1872 besides the 
four purely government schools, there were seventy - six 
schools in Natal receiving aid from the treasury. 

1865] Enlargement of the Colony. 165 

The recorder's court had been abolished, and by an 
ordinance passed in July 1857 a supreme court was estab- 
lished, consisting of a chief justice and two puisne judges, 
of whom two formed a quorum. One of the judges went 
periodically on circuit, as in the Cape Colony. The supreme 
court held its sessions at Maritzburg, with open doors, and 
the proceedings were conducted solely in the English 
language. It was provided with a master, a registrar, and 
a sheriff. Criminal cases were tried by one judge and a 
jury of nine men, the a^greement of two-thirds of whom 
was necessary to convict. In civil cases, if the plaintiff or 
the defendant desired it, one judge and a jury could decide 
the matter. When cases of a value of over £20 were tried 
before the circuit court without a jury, there was an appeal 
to the supreme court ; and in cases of great importance 
there was an appeal from the supreme court to the privy 
council in England. 

On the 2nd of December 1862 the Klip River county 
was divided into two magisterial divisions : Ladysmith and 
Newcastle. In 1872 there were eleven resident magistrates 
carrying out justice within the colony. 

In one respect there was retrogression to a slight extent. 
In June 1857 the ordinance of 1854 to establish county 
councils was repealed, as it was found that the European 
population was too scanty to maintain them efficiently. 

The colony had been enlarged on the south by the addition 
of the land between the Umzimkula and Umtamvuna 
rivers. Averse as the imperial government was at this period 
to any extension of its responsibilities in South Africa, the 
condition of this district was such that the measure could 
not be avoided. The Pondo chief Faku had been unable to 
reduce the clans there to subjection, and protested that he 
ought not to be held responsible for their conduct in 
accordance with the treaty that had been entered into 
with him. 

On the 9th of December 1863 letters patent were drawn 
up at Westminster empowering the lieutenant - governor to 

i66 History of Natal. [1865 

issue a proclamation annexing 5fc. In 1865 the surveyor- 
general was directed in concert with Sir Walter Currie, 
commandant of the frontier armed and mounted police of 
the Cape Colony, to inspect the territory and lay down a 
convenient boundary. These gentlemen fixed upon a line 
commencing at the junction of the Ibisi river with the 
Umzimkulu and running thence to the nearest point of the 
rido*e forminoj the watershed between the Ibisi and Umzim- 
kulwana, thence along that riclge to the Ingele range, along 
the summit of that range to a large beacon which they 
erected at its western extremity, and thence straight to the 
nearest source of the Umtamvuna. On the 7th of September 
1865 this boundary was proclaimed, and on the 13th of the 
same month the annexation was legally completed, though 
it was not until the 1st of January 1866 that the British 
flag was formally hoisted, and the residents in the territory 
— thereafter termed the county of Alfred — were informed 
that they were British subjects. They were so numerous 
in it that there was no vacant ground for European settlers. 
By this annexation the area of the colony was increased to 
18,750 square miles, or 48,000 square kilometres.* 

The Bantu at this period gave very little trouble. In June 
1859 an ordinance was issued which prohibited the sale or 
gift of a gun or ammunition to any of them, under penalty 
of a fine not exceeding £50 and imprisonment with or 
without hard labour for any period not longer than two 
years. Under the same penalty every one of them w^as 
prohibited from possessing a gun or ammunition without 
the written permission of the lieutenant-governor. Charges 
of infringement of this ordinance could be tried in any 
magistrate's court, so that offenders could hardly escape 
punishment. By an ordinance of 1863, the sale of intoxi- 

* Natal is now, in 1907, nearly double that size. By the annexation of 
Zululand and the territory to the southern Portuguese boundary over 
ten thousand square miles or twenty-five thousand nine hundred and 
twenty-one square kilometres were added to it, and by the incorporation 
of the district of Vrjdieid it gained another seven thousand square miles 
or eighteen thousand one hundred and forty-live square kilometres. 

1865I Treatment of the Bantu. 167 

eating liquor to them was prohibited under penalty of a 
fine of £10 or three months imprisonment for each oiFence, 
which removed another source of danger. 

On the 27th of April 1864 letters patent were issued at 
Westminster, by which the Bantu locations in Natal were 
placed under the permanent charge of a trust consisting of 
the lieutenant-governor and the executive council for the 
time being, who were to control everything connected with 
the ground for the benefit of the Bantu alone, so that it 
could not fall into the hands of Europeans. The locations, 
together with grants to mission societies for the use of black 
people, covered rather more than two million three hundred 
thousand acres of land. The locations were reserved entirely 
for the use of Bantu who lived in their old tribal manner 
under their own hereditary chiefs, over whom the lieutenant- 
governor since 1851 had occupied the position of supreme 
chief. In this capacity he exercised the right of calling out 
labourers for public works, issuing orders for this purpose to 
the respective chiefs, and fixing the number of men each one 
was to supply. This was in full accordance with Bantu 
custom, and only differed from ancient practice in that the 
labourers were now paid wages, though not at a high rate. 

The right of calling out labourers from the locations for 
public v7orks, especially for making roads, was one of the 
causes of the Bantu preferring to live on vacant crown 
lands or on ground hired from Europeans, where they 
would be free from this liability. Other causes operated 
in the same direction, and at the present day (1907) two 
hundred and sixty-six thousand Bantu are found on the 
forty-two locations and the mission reserves, and four 
hundred and twenty-one thousand on private property. A 
law made as far back as 1855 to prevent these people 
settling without leave on vacant land belonging either to 
the crown or to private individuals could not be enforced, 
and another law made in 1871 in which tenants on private 
land were dealt with remained also partly inoperative. The 
pressure of such an enormous mass of barbarians as had 

i68 History of Natal. [1865 

been allowed to enter and settle in Natal was so great that 
the few w^hite colonists were almost helpless before it. 

The Bantu were not subject to European law, but under 
the influence of Christian missionaries some individuals 
among them had adopted civilised habits, and the number 
was constantly increasing. In 1872 there were nearly forty 
mission stations maintained by various societies within the 
borders of the colony, and the result of so much instruction, 
though not so great as might have been wished for, was 
plainly perceptible. A question thus arose as to the 
political position which those Bantu who had adopted a 
civilised mode of life should occupy. It was settled in 
such a manner as to encourage individuals to abandon the 
habits of barbarians, while avoiding the danger of giving 
political privileges to persons with only a thin veneer of 

Any black who was living as a monogamist in an orderly 
manner according to European ideas could petition to be 
exempted from Bantu law, and to be registered as subject 
to the colonial law alone. In 1865 it was enacted that any 
male black resident in Natal for twelve years and exempt 
from Bantu law for seven years, and who should procure 
a certificate from three electors of European origin, endorsed 
by a justice of the peace or the magistrate of the county in 
which he should be residing, testifying that they had known 
him for two years, that he was a well-disposed subject, and 
had never been convicted of felony, should, if he possessed 
the other ordinary qualifications, be entitled to petition the 
lieutenant-governor for a certificate enabling him to be 
registered as a voter. 

Under this system a good many Bantu in course of time 
became exempt at their own request from the operation of 
the laws of their people, and the number who became en- 
titled to the franchise was very small indeed, never 
exceeding half a dozen. Mixed breeds, however, and any 
other coloured people except pure Bantu and Indians, if 
they possessed the same property qualification as Europeans, 

1869] Diffictdties of Retfenchment, 169 

were entitled to the franchise, so that the electorate was 
never purely white colonial. 

Mr. Keate's term of administration was marked by con- 
tinual strife between the elected members of the council 
and the executive. For several years prior to 1865 the 
colony was supposed to be in a flourishing condition, and 
expensive civil establishments were created. The lieutenant- 
governor's salary, which had been originally only £800 a 
year, was raised to £2,500, and the other officials also 
obtained considerable increases. Subsequently, the colonists 
considered it necessary to reduce tlie expenditure ; but the 
elected members of the council and the executive could 
never agfree as to the manner in which retrenchment should 
be effected. The council claimed control over the revenue, 
and refused to adopt the estimates submitted by the 
government. Then occurred disputes and wranglings of 
no ordinary kind. Money which was voted for public 
works and other purposes was taken by the lieutenant- 
governor to pay the officials. The council argued that 
salaries had been raised when everything bore high prices, 
and as the cost of living was now reduced and the colony 
was in distress, it was only fair that the officials should 
receive less pay. Mr. Keate objected to retrenchment on 
a large scale, and did not even affect to feel sympathy with 
the people. 

In 1869 the council requested the imperial authorities to 
allow six more elected members to be added to it, and to 
deprive the official members of the right of voting, limiting 
them to debate only. The expenditure was then in excess 
of the revenue, and to rectify this it was proposed to require 
the Bantu to contribute yearly at an average rate of four 
shillings each, to reduce the lieutenant-governor's salary to 
£1,800 a year, to amalgamate the offices of colonial secretary 
and secretary for native affairs, to reduce the salaries of 
those officers holding seats in the council by £100 per 
annum each, to reduce the salaries and pensions of the 
judges, and to effect retrenchment in various other ways. 

170 History of Natal. [1869 

These proposals were forwarded by Mr. Keate to the 
secretary of state for the colonies, who refused to sanction 
them, on the ground that the circumstances of Natal did 
not warrant a diminution of the power of the crown in the 
legislative body. "So long as her Majesty's troops remain in 
the colony," he wrote, " the home government must retain its 
control over the taxation and government of the natives and 
of all that falls under the head of native policy ; and ex- 
perience shows that this cannot be done without retaining 
an effectual control over all policy, whether European or 
native." But to make the acts of the executive government 
more popular, the lieutenant-governor was empowered to 
appoint to the executive council t^vo of the elected members 
of the legislature, to hold their seats until the dissolution 
or other termination of the council from which they were 

The opposition was rather increased than diminished when 
this became known. The lieutenant-governor then dissolved 
the council and appealed to the people. With one exception, 
the same members were returned. But already the signs of 
prosperity resulting from the discovery of diamonds along 
the lower Vaal river were becoming visible, and the necessity 
for retrenchment was less urgent than before. The appoint- 
ment bj^ Mr. Keate of a commission to inquire into the 
adequacy of the civil service was accepted as an act of 
conciliation, and gradually matters became smoother. In 
1871 the commission recommended the abolition of certain 
offices to which salaries amounting in all to upwards of 
£5,000 were attached, and the rearrangement of other 
salaries by which a yearly saving of £3,000 more would 
be effected. This retrenchment, however, was not carried 
out, and with the issue of a supplementary charter in 1872 
the contentions between the executive and the legislature 
were renewed. 

This charter was brought out by Mr. Anthony Musgrave, 
who took the oaths of office as lieutenant-governor on the 
19th of Jul}^ 1872. In it the salaries of the principal officers 

1 86 51 Commercial Crisis. 17.1 

were fixed and placed beyond the control of the council, 
and the power of that body was in other respects clearly 
defined. The elected members objected to it, on the ground 
that by removing a large portion of the expenditure beyond 
their control, rights were annulled which had been conferred 
upon them by the charter itself. In this view, it was not 
a supplementary charter, but a revocation of the charter. So 
there was much contention during the next few years. 

After 1857 Natal became the scene of extensive specula- 
tions of a hazardous nature. Money was plentiful, for in 
rapid succession came branches of the Standard bank of 
British South Africa and of the London and South African 
bank, the Commercial and Agricultural bank of Natal, 
incorporated in August 1862 with a capital of £50,000, and 
the Colonial bank of Natal, founded in February 1862 and 
incorporated in September 1864 with a capital of £50,000, 
besides the old Natal bank, which in 1864 was empowered 
to increase its then existing capital of £120,000 to half a 
million. Private agencies were also engaged in the invest- 
ment of English capital. A system prevailed of dealing on 
credit and by means of notes of hand which the banks 
readily discounted. Many sugar planters in particular 
borrowed large sums of money at exorbitant rates of 
interest, which they afterwards found themselves unable to 
pay. The great excess of imports over exports at this time 
shows the reckless manner in which the colonists were 
speculating, even after making full allowance for the capital 
expended in building up industries and improving estates. 

A crisis came in 1865. One after another, planters failed 
and houses of business surrendered or compromised, until 
merchants in Great Britain became alarmed and stopped 
further supplies. Numbers of mechanics wha had been 
attracted to the colony were thrown out of employment, 
poverty and distress stared many in the face, and the name 
of Natal sank low in the estimation of the commercial world. 
But the great crash paved the way for the introduction of a 
better and safer method of conducting business. Henceforth 

172 History of Natal. [1868 

credit was not so easilj^ obtained without sufficient security, 
and when trade rallied again after a time, it was unaccom- 
panied by the wild speculation of former days. The colony 
had passed the period of thoughtless extravagance, and was 
entering upon a term of vigorous, honest life. 

The discovery of the diamond fields was an event of great 
importance to Natal. It opened a new and excellent market 
where high prices were obtained for all kinds of produce, and 
enabled the merchants to extend their trade in imported 
articles. Many of them established branches at the fields, 
where they competed successfully with others who imported 
their goods through Algoa Bay or East London. Natal sugar, 
coffee, arrowroot, jams, and tobacco could of course be sold at 
a good profit cheaper than similar articles brought through 
the Cape Colony, on which duty had been paid. Trains of 
waggons laden with produce crossed over the Drakensberg 
and through the Free State to the diamond fields, and took 
back money, thus giving an impetus to legitimate enterprise, 
both planting and commercial. 

The want of a railroad from the port inland was recog- 
nised by the colonists, and plans for constructing one were 
frequently discussed in the council as well as by the press 
and people, but nothing definite was at this time agreed 
upon. In 1863 a line of electric telegraph had been opened 
between Durban and Maritzburof. 

At this time Natal attracted the attention of the outside 
world more perhaps by ecclesiastical than by commercial 
transactions. In this little colony and among these few 
thousand Europeans a case arose on the issue of which 
depended the future relationship between the crown, the 
established church of England, and the episcopal churches in 
all the British possessions oversea. The right reverend Dr. 
Colenso had been distino^uished ever since his arrival bv a 
very warm attachment to the Bantu, combined with an 
untiring zeal for their improvement and an eloquent 
advocacy of what he regarded as their rights. As a colonial 
bishop, an author of numerous books in various branches of 

1869] Ecclesiastical Strife. 173 

mathematics, and a champion of the black tribes living in 
South-Eastern Africa, Dr. Colenso was known throughout 
the English speaking countries of the world. 

He was to be yet more widely known by the publication 
of a work of biblical criticism, which he found time to write 
amidst such varied occupations as few men are capable of 
undertaking. The book was at once condemned as here- 
tical by those Christians everywhere who termed themselves 
orthodox. Its author was called upon to retract the opinions 
he had expressed, and, upon his declining to do so, he was 
summoned by the metropolitan bishop of Capetown to appear 
before a court composed of all the South African bishops, to 
be tried on the charge of heresy. 

Dr. Colenso then showed that a knowledge of law must 
be classed with his other attainments. Taking his stand 
upon the letters patent of the queen, he ignored the authority 
of the court of bishops, and when he was pronounced guilty 
of heresy and sentenced to be deposed, he declined to abide 
by the judgment. The highest tribunal in England, to which 
an appeal was made, maintained him in his position. The 
colonial churches were declared to be nothing more than 
voluntary associations, bound by no law to the established 
church of England, and in them no person could be com- 
pelled to yield obedience to another, unless a formal 
agreement to that effect had been made. The bishop oi 
Natal was therefore not subject to the ecclesiastical juris- 
diction of any man or body of men, and as long as his 
partisans chose to recognise him he could not be deprived 
of his office. 

In Natal itself a party seceded from Dr. Colenso, and 
elected as their bishop Dr. W. K. Macrorie, who was con- 
secrated on the 25th of January 1869 in the cathedral 
church of Capetown, by the bishops of Capetown, Grahams- 
town, St. Helena, and the Orange Free State, and took the 
title of bishop of Maritzburg. His adherents styled them- 
selves members of the church of the province of South 
Africa, in contradistinction to the adherents of the bishop 

174 History of NataL [1872 

of Natal, who termed tliemselves members of the church of 
England. The property acquired before the disruption 
remained in the hands of Bishop Colenso, by decision of the 
civil courts, while Bishop Macrorie was mainly supported 
by English societies and foreign sympathisers. 

In September 1869 an ordinance was passed, under which 
no clerg3^men of any denomination, excepting those already 
in receipt of salaries from the treasury, were thereafter to 
be paid by the state, though the grants in aid then existing 
were to be continued until the death or removal of their 

On the 30th of July 1872 there were eight vessels at 
anchor in the roadstead at Port Natal, when a gale set in, 
and the barque Grace Peile was driven from her anchors 
and wrecked on the back beach. On the 31st the barque 
Trinculo went ashore at the same place, and after night- 
fall the schooners Princess Alice and Breidahlih followed. 
No lives were lost, nor was much merchandise destroyed, 
as the wrecks, imbedded in sand, did not break up. The 
other four vessels rode out the gale. 

The population of Natal in 1872 consisted of about 17,500 
Europeans, 800,000 Bantu, and 5,800 Indians. No census 
had been taken, so that these figures cannot be given as 
absolutely correct. 

Maritzburg, the capital, contained 3,250 Europeans, 1,500 
Bantu, and 100 Indians. It had three banks and three 
cathedrals — Roman catholic, church of England, and church 
of the province of South Africa, — ten other churches, and 
several public buildings. An excellent supply of water ran 
in open furrows along its streets, which were shaded with 
trees that gave it a charming appearance. 

Durban, the seaport, contained 3,500 Europeans, 1,900 
Bantu, and 900 Indians. It possessed no fewer than 
fifteen churches of various denominations, four banks, several 
insurance offices and agencies, and, like Maritzburg, was the 
centre of numerous institutions, literary, commercial, and 

1872] Revenue and Imports. 175 

The public revenue fluctuated considerably between 1857 
and 1872, but was now steadily rising. In 1872 it amounted 
to £157,601, of which the Bantu contributed — including a 
small share of the customs — something over one fourth. The 
items from which it was derived were : — 

Customs duties ------- £81,915 

Hut-tax of 7s. on each hut 27,656 

Fees on marriages of Bantu_, £5 each, &c. - - 10,468 

Excise duties 7,807 

Quitrents 6,497 

Postal receipts - - 6,296 

Transfer dues - 5,385 

Fines and fees of office ------ 4,613 

Port dues „ - - 2,012 

Stamps 2,114 

Auction dues -------- 1,409 

Miscellaneous ------- 1,429 

Tetal £157,601 

The public debt of the colony in 1872 was £263,000, of 
which £163,000 had been borrowed for the construction of 
harbour works. 

The imperial government maintained a wing of a regiment 
in Natal, and the colonists furnished a most efficient body 
of volunteers. In 1872 there were five corps of volunteer 
cavalry, numbering together 417 men, and three corps of 
volunteer infantry, numbering 195 men. 

The imports from the 1st of January 1857 to the 31st of 
December 1861 amounted in value to £1,334,974, from the 1st 
of January 1862 to the 31st of December 1866 to £2,232,999, 
from the 1st of January 1867 to the 31st of December 1871 
to £1,869.314, and during the year 1872 to £825,252. Eighty- 
four per cent of the imports came from the United Kingdom, 
thirteen per cent from other British possessions, and only 
three per cent from foreign countries. 

During the five years from the 1st of January 1857 to 
the 31st of December 1861 there were exported, according to 
the value declared at the customs : — 

176 History of Natal, [187^? 

Ivory - 

Sheep's wool - - - - - 

Butter - - - 

Hides, skins, horns, and bones 

Sugar and molasses . - - - 

Beans, peas, maize, and millet 

Arrowroot ------ 

Ostrich feathers 

All other articles, and imports exported 










Total during five years £546,047 

During the ^v^ years from the 1st of January 1862 
to the 31st of December 1866 : — 

Sheep's wool ------- £286,858 

Sugar and molasses ------ 284,663 

Ivory - - 119,876 

Butter 39,744 

Ostrich feathers -...--- 38,957 

Hides, skins, horns, and bones - - - - 35,640 

Beans, maize, and other farm produce - - - 24,156 

Arrowroot .-..---- 12,873 

Cotton . . - 11,329 

Live animals, chiefly horses 4,488 

Bacon, hams, salted meat, tallow, and lard - - 2,381 

Pepper - 1,557 • 

Specimens of natural history - - - - 848 

Curiosities and karosses - - - - - 831 

Rum 706 

Fruit - - 396 

Coffee --------- 6 

Total South African produce £865,309 
Imports exported 52,407 

Or African produce at the rate of £173,062 a year. 

During the five years from the 1st of January 1867 to the 
31st of December 1871 :— 

Sugar and molasses ------ £599,898 

Sheep's wool 571,757 

Carried forward £1,171;655 

1872] Vahte of Exports, 177 

Brought forward £1,171,655 

Hides, skins, horns, and bones - - - - 256,682 

Ivory --------- 51,674 

Diamonds 40,773 

Ostrich feathers 38,061 

Butter 35,418 

Bacon, hams, salted me?tt, tallow, and lard - - 31,250 

Beans, maize, and other farm produce • - - 29,316 

Arrowroot 27,878 

Cotton 22,290 

Coffee 21,144 

Live animals, chiefly horses ----- 10,333 

Hum 6,246 

Pepper 2,168 

Curiosities and karosses ----- 1,555 

Fruit 1,347 

Aloes - 1,277 

Specimens of natural history . . - - 1,214 

Raw gold 370 

Angora hair -- - 168 

Total South African produce £1,750,819 

Imports exported 55,151 


Or African produce at the rate of £350, 164 a year. 

During the year 1872 : — 

Sheep's wool £254,496 

Sugar and molasses - 153,978 

Hides, skins, horns, and bones - . - . 137,629 

Diamonds 10,884 

Ostrich feathers - - - - * - - - 9,745 

Ivory - - - 9,392 

Coffee 8,516 

Cotton 6,050 

Arrowroot .----..- 5,647 

Butter 5,178 

Bacon, salted meat, tallow, and lard - - - 1,420 

Live animals, chiefly horses 1,387 

Rum - - - - 1,227 

Carried forward £605,548 


lyS History of Natal. [187 

Brought forward £605,548 
Beans, maize, and other farm produce - - - 981 

Raw gold - - 925 

Aloes - - 532 

Angora hair - - - -- - - - 422 


Pepper 3l3 

Specimens of iiatr.ial history - - - - 283 

Fruit 259 

Curiosities and karosses 161 

Total South African produce £009,424 
Imports exported 13,373 


Sixty-nine per cent of the exports were sent to the United 
Kingdom, twenty-nine per cent to other British possessions, 
chiefly the Cape Colony and Mauritius, and only two per 
cent to foreign countries. 

Towards the close of the year 1872 the old Zulu chief 
Panda died, and was succeeded by his son Ketshwayo, 
Panda had always preserved peace with Natal as well as 
with the South African Republic, but many persons were 
doubtful whether Ketshwayo, who was a far more aspiring 
man, would act in the same manner. After the great 
slaughter which followed his victory over his brother 
Umbulazi on the 2nd of December 1856, several thousands 
of his opponents managed to make their wa}^ across the 
Tugela, and were given shelter by the authorities there. 
Among them was one of his own half-brothers, named 
Umkunku, a man of very little note, however, who had even 
been permitted to purchase land in the colony and settle on 
it with his followers. It was now feared by many persons 
that Ketshwayo might try to make a quarrel for the purpose 
of taking revenge for the protection given to his opponents, 
but he conducted himself in such a manner as soon to allav 
all fear of war, and the colonists were then able to pursue 
their ordinary avocations in quietness. 



Among the Bantu chiefs of South Africa Moshesh stands out 
prominentiy as the most intelligent and the most humane. 
Like Tshaka he built up a great power by his own ability, 
but he did it without that vast sacrifice of human life which 
marked the career of the Zulu despot. Alone among bar- 
barian leaders, he had risen more by conciliating than by 
crushing his opponents. At the head of a mixed tribe, many 
members of which had once been cannibals, and many others 
refugees from robber hordes, he had favoured the introduc- 
tion of the arts of civilisation and had befriended and 
encouraged European missionaries. No other South African 
chief was so capable as he of forming and carrying out 
elaborate plans for the advantage of his people, none could 
weigh opposing forces so carefully, none knew so well how 
to turn every opportunity to good account. 

But with all this, Moshesh had not, and could not in 
reason be expected to have, the higher virtues of Europeans. 
At no period of his life had he any regard whatever for his 
promises. He lost nothing, either in self-respect or in the 
opinion of his people, by breaking faith with others. He 
signed the treaty of 1858 to avoid the displeasure of Sir 
George Grey, but as there was no force to compel him to 
observe it, he made no effort to carry out its provisions. 
The plundering of the border farmers went on as before. 
Hunting parties continued to traverse the Free State, with- 
out troubling themselves to ask permission from a landdrost, 
though Mr. Boshof offered to place every facility in their 
way if they would comply with a few simple and necessary 



i8o History of the Orange Free State. [1858 

Sir George Grey had seen, when arranging the terms of 
the treaty, that Jan Letele's presence on the frontier was a 
formidable obstacle to the preservation of peace between 
Moshesh's people and the farmers. The upper portion of 
the district below the Drakensberg, which was then called 
Nomansland, and is now known as Griqualand East, was 
regarded by Sir George Grey as being at his disposal, and 
he proposed to give land in it to Jan Letele and Lehana, 
the son of Sikonyela. The last named was the head of the 
Batlokua in the Wittebergen reserve, where there was not 
sufficient room for him, and where his presence caused much 

But this plan of the governor, though favourably received 
by Letele and Lehana, was frustrated by the action of 
Moshesh. It was only natural that the great chief should 
be averse to the establishment of a rival Basuto tribe 
beyond the mountains, which would draw from him dis- 
affected subjects and seriously weaken his power. For 
many years he had been in close communication with Faku, 
who ha^d offered him the vacant district, a contingency 
entirely unforeseen by Sir Peregrine Maitland when he 
acknowledged the Pondo chief as its owner. As soon there- 
fore as the rumour of Sir George Grey's plan reached 
Moshesh's ears, measures were taken to counteract it, but in 
such a manner that the governor should have no suspicion 
that he was being thwarted. 

To this end Nehemiah met Sir George Grey at Morija, 
and professing that he was not on good terms with his 
father, requested that he also might have a location in 
Nomansland. The governor was not disposed either to 
grant or refuse the request without further consideration, 
and told Nehemiah to write to him after his return to Cape- 
town. As this would cause delay, however, Moshesh's son 
decided to move at once, and before the close of 1858 he 
was established with about seventy men on the western 
bank of the Umzimvubu, near the source of that river. A 
little later, when returning to the Lesuto for the purpose of 

185 9 J Conduct of Moshesh, 181 

inducing a larger number of people to join him, be wrote to 
the governor that he " would be very thankful 1 ' his 
Excellency would inform others who might wish to press 
in that his child Nehemiah had already settled in the new 
country with his good will." Of course, with Nehemiah on 
the Umzimvubu, Jan Letele made no attempt to settle in 
Nomansland, and when in the following year Lehana went 
to inspect the district he was deterred from moving his 
people into it by the threats of some Pondomsi chiefs who 
were then acting in concert with Nehemiah. 

The volksraad of the Free State, though considering that 
the treaty was all to the advantage of Moshesh, approved 
of the acts of their commissioners, and tendered their thanks 
to Sir George Grey for the trouble he had taken. The 
farmers were not permitted to return to the Basuto side 
of the new boundary, and were compensated for their losses 
as far as possible by grants of land in the Beersheba district. 
The French mission society petitioned for a larger area than 
the six thousand acres secured to it in the treaty, but 
the volksraad declined to comply with the request, and 
further resolved to protect the friendly headman Mooi there, 
and not permit him to be forced out by the pressure of 
Moeletsi's Basuto. 

In February 1859 President Boshof sent a deputation to 
Moshesh to represent to him that on account of the constant 
robberies and violence of the followers of Molitsane and 
Poshuli the farms along the Winburg and Caledon river 
borders were abandoned, and to urge him to act in con- 
formity with the treaty. Messrs. Schnehage and Meyer, 
tlie members of the deputation, met with a friendly recep- 
tion at Thaba Bosigo and from the chiefs along the route, 
but obtained no satisfactory reply from Moshesh, who merely 
desired that a meeting of Poshuli, Letele, Mr. Boshof, and 
himself should take place. The great chief, in turn, sent 
five deputies to Bloemfontein, but when they had an inter- 
view with the volksraad they declared that they were 
without authority, having been merely instructed to listen. 

i82 History of the Orange Free State. [1859 

In despair of being able to overcome the difficulties in 
which the republic was now involved, on the 21st of 
February 1859 Mr. Boshof again tendered his resignation. 
The volksraad earnestly requested him to continue in office, 
declaring their entire confidence in him, and expressing the 
opinion that his retirement would be most disastrous to the 
country. He, however, obtained six months' leave of absence 
to visit Natal, and Mr. Esaias Rynier Snyman was appointed 
acting president. On the 25th of June Mr. Boshof sent a 
final letter of resignation from Natal, which the volksraad, at 
an extraordinary session held in September, was obliged to 
accept. Mr. Snyman was then requested to retain the acting 
appointment until an election could take place and the new 
president be installed. 

The volksraad recommended to the burghers only one 
person, Mr. Jacobus Johannes Venter, and decided that the 
election should be held on the 15th of December. According 
to the original constitution of the state, this would have 
been equivalent to the appointment of Mr. Venter; but in 
1856 an ordinance had been passed, under which the 
burghers could vote for any person as president who should 
receive a requisition signed by twenty-five qualified electors, 
provided such requisition with a reply accepting it were 
published in the BiaU Gazette four full weeks before the 
day of election. The recommendation of Mr. Venter there- 
fore merely signified that he was the volksraad's candidate, 
and the people could choose another if they felt disposed to 
do so. 

It would be wearisome to enter minutely into events on 
the Basuto border during the time that Mr. Snyman was 
acting president of the Free State. Sometimes there was 
a lull in the thefts, but there never was any security for 
property in cattle. Meetings were held between representa- 
tives of both sides — one in May 1859, another in January 
1860 — without any good result. Moshesh said plainly that 
he would redress no wrongs until Jan Letele, who lost no 
opportunity of robbing his people, was compelled to give up 

1859] Acquirement of Teryiiory, 183 

the spoil or placed under his jurisdiction. The reception of 
this vagabond as a subject of the Free State was a very 
sore point with the great chief. But Mr. Snyman's govern- 
ment could not in honour either surrender or abandon him, 
and it had no means of keepino- him in order. 

The most important events at this time were accessions 
of territory which added considerably to the strength of the 
republic. The location along the Vaal belonging to Goliath 
Yzerbek had been obtained by purchase, that of Scheel 
Kobus was taken possession of after his defeat and death, 
and in 1859 that of David Danser was acquired by an 
agreement with his successor Jan Danser, in which that 
captain sold out and moved away for a payment of £100. 
Jan Bloem's people had nearly abandoned their location. 
The Berlin society had again occupied Pniel, but the juris- 
diction of the Free State was now unquestioned over the 
whole of the former Korana and Bushman reserves, and the 
larger portion of the area was waste government land open 
for occupation by burghers. 

In 1833 the reverend Mr. Pellissier, of the French society, 
had led a Batlapin clan under the chief Lepui from the 
neighbourhood of Kuruman to the junction of the Caledon 
and the Orange, and had taken possession of the tract of 
country there which has ever since been known as the 
district of Bethulie. For nearly a quarter of a century 
hardly anything was heard except in mission reports of 
Lepui and his people. They did not interfere with their 
neighbours, nor did their neighbours with them. They took 
no part in any of the wars of the country. Moshesh claimed 
no jurisdiction over them, and their only connection with 
outsiders was the connection of their missionary with those 
of the same society labouring in the Lesuto. 

This happy condition was terminated by a quarrel 
between the missionary and the chief. Each then claimed 
the ownership of the district, and ignored the other. The 
people of Lepui with his sanction offered a large portion of 
their vacant land for sale, and when some farmers made 

i84 History of the Orange F7^ee State. [i860 

purchases Mr. Pellissier protested. Notwithstanding his 
protests the sales were carried out. Mr. Pellissier then, on 
the 24th of January 1859, offered the Free State government 
to cede the sovereignty of Bethulie to it on condition that 
the ground should remain a reserve for Bantu under control 
of the Paris Evangelical Society. This offer was declined, but 
ten days later — 2nd of February 1859 — Lepui made a formal 
application to President Boshof to be taken with his subjects 
and territory under the laws and government of the Orange 
Free State. 

Owing to Mr. Boshof 's retirement, several months elapsed 
without any steps being taken on this application, but on 
the 8th of October Acting President Snyman entered into 
an arrangement with Lepui by which Bethulie became part 
of the Free State. In deference to Mr. Pellissier some con- 
cessions were made, and he was understood as giving his 
consent to the agreement, but after its ratification by the 
volksraad on the 13th of February 1860 he protested against 
it, complained to Sir George Grey, and even urged the 
French consul in Capetown to interfere to prevent any 
portion of the district being occupied by white people ; but 
all to no purpose. 

Private rights of course remained intact, and even the 
unoccupied ground was still considered the property of the 
clan. But as the territory was in a good position, numerous 
farmers from the Cape Colony were ready to purchase ground 
in it, and the people of Lepui were just as ready to sell. 
The clan at this time divided into two sections, the larger of 
which, under Lepui's son Koro, moved away to Basutoland. 
Moshesh gladly received the new-comers, and gave them 
ground to live upon at Korokoro, where a Roman Catholic 
mission was afterwards established. In a few months the 
whole of the district of Bethulie, excepting only about 
twenty-five thousand morgen round the French mission 
station, was sold and in occupation of European farmers. 
The executive council of the Free State then allotted ten 
thousand morgen of what remained to the Paris Evangelical 

i86o] Formation of New Districts. 185 

Society, including in the grant the gardens and ground on 
which the mission buildings were erected. 

On the loth of February 1860 the volksraad declared 
Bethulie a district of the Orange Free State, with rights of 
representation and a landdrost's court of its own. Mr. J. F. 
van Iddekinge was appointed its first landdrost. Later in 
the same year Lepui exchanged the fifteen thousand morgen 
of land remaining in his possession for a location in the 
district of Smithfieid. This ground was then divided into 
four farms and building lots for a village with a commonage 
of six thousand morgen. The sale of the farms and building 
lots took place in June 1862, when the highest prices ever 
paid for ground north of the Orange were obtained. Louw 
Wepener, whose name was to be renowned in later times, 
was the purchaser of one of the farms. 

In February 1858 the volksraad resolved to establish a 
landdrost's court at Boshof, for the convenience of the in- 
habitants of the western part of the state. The new district 
took the name of the village which was its seat of magistracy. 
On the 3rd of July Mr. A. H. Jacobs was installed as the first 

In the extreme north of the state another district was 
formed in the following year, by cutting off a portion of 
Winburg. The new district was called Kroonstad. On the 
30th of August 1859 the volksraad authorised the acting 
president to station a landdrost at the village of Kroonstad, 
where previously there had been a special justice of the 
pe?tce. Mr. Willem Christiaan Peeters was appointed the 
first landdrost, and assumed duty on the 19th of November. 
Eleven daj^s later the residents of the new district, who 
were dissatisfied v/ith the landdrost, rose against him and 
drove him away. So weak was the government at the 
time that it was unable to restore him. 

On the 3rd of March 1860 the first building lots were 
sold in the present village of Bethlehem. Messrs. Paul 
Naude, Daniel Malan, and Jan MuUer, three residents in 
the neighbourhood, combined and purchased the farm 

i86 History of the Orange Free State. [i860 

Prefcorius Kloof, with a view of establishing^ a church upon 
it. Their plan was carried out, the necessary buihjings 
being erected in the following year by means of funds 
obtained by the sale of plots of ground and by subscrip- 
tion. In this manner many villages in South Africa have 
been founded. First a church is built, then a clergyman 
takes up his residence close by, and is accompanied by a 
schoolmaster ; elderly farmers follow, to be near the church 
and to provide a home for their grandchildren attending 
the school ; shopkeepers and mechanics come next ; and 
finally the government considers it necessary to have a 
collector of taxes and a dispenser of justice in the place. 
It now takes rank as a village, and, if its situation is a 
good one, in course of time it becomes a district town. In 
March 1864, four years after its foundation, Bethlehem was 
provided with a resident justice of the peace. 

The party in the Free State that regarded union with 
the South African Republic as the only solution of their 
difficulties with Moshesh rejected the candidate for the 
presidency recommended by the volksraad, and turned to 
Mr. Mavthinus Wessel Prctorius as their natural leader. 
Mr. Pretorius was president of the South African Republic. 
By the advice of his friends there he accepted the requisi- 
tion, and upon his election by a majority of twelve hundred 
and eighty-two votes against three hundred and ten divided 
among four other candidates, he applied to the volksraad 
which met at Potchefstroom on the 2nd of February 1860 
for six months leave of absence. This being granted, he 
at once left for Bloemfontein. On the 8th of Febiuary 
1800 he took the oath as president of the Fi'ee State, 
stipulating, however, that his terra of ofiice should be un- 
defined, though not h'Uger than the five years mentioned 
in the constitution. 

At this time a large majority of the inhabitants of tl-e 
three independent territories — the South African Republic, 
the Republic of Lydenburg, and the Orange Free State — 
were in favour of union, either under a federal govern- 

i86o] Projects of Union, 187 

merit or by the formation of a single state witli one 
volksraad and one executive. Tiiere was nothino; to prevent 
the two former uniting or not, as they pleased, but there 
was a serious obstacle in the way of the Orange Free 
State joining the others. 

In September 1858, when the treaty with the Basuto was 
being arranged at Aliwal North, the Free State deputation 
had conferred with Sir George Grey upon this matter. His 
Excellency informed them that the effect would be the 
annulling of the conventions. Great Britain would 
probably decline to enter into a new convention with the 
consolidated state, or, if she did, would refuse to insert 
the clau^^es relative to having no treaties with Bantu or 
other tribes, forbidding the supply of ammunition to them, 
and guaranteeing an open market in ammunition to the 

When the volksraad met at Bloemfontein on the 22nd of 
November 1858, this subject came on for discussion. The 
views of the members were diverse. Some were in favour of 
federation with the Cape Colony, others in favour of union 
with the South African Republic, others again advocated an 
offensive and defensive alliance with either the colony or the 
republic. Numerously signed memorials were read in sup- 
port of all these views. The first was strongly advocated by 
President Boshof, who was inclined even to favour unification, 
or the absolute incorporation of the Free State in the Cape 
Colonv, as the interests of the two countries were identical. 
At that time it was hoped by some that Moshesh would 
respect the treaty just concluded and that Jan Letele could 
be kept in order. But these hopes had afterwards vanished, 
the authorities in England were opposed to extension of the 
British dominions in any way, and in consequence the ad- 
vocates for union with the Transvaal people had increased 
in number. 

On the 81st of August 1859 the volksraad adopted a 
resolution to send a commission to the orovernment of the 
South African Republic to endeavour to arrange terms either 

i8S History of the Orange Free State. [i860 

of union or alliance, which should afterwards be submitted 
to the people for approval. Nothing came of this, however, 
for the election of Mr. Pretorius so soon afterwards gave 
another direction to the movement. 

On the 9th of February 1860, the day following that on 
which Mr. Pretorius became president of the Free State, the 
volksraad resolved to submit the question of union to the 
direct vote of the people, and if a majority should be found 
to favour it to apply to the British government for informa- 
tion as to the terms of a new convention. This resolution 
was carried out, with the result that in the whole state one 
thousand and seventy-six votes were given for union and 
one hundred and four against. The volksraad then resolved 
that this result should be communicated to the government 
of the South African Republic, and that a commission, con- 
sisting of Messrs. J. J. Venter, J. N. Uys, and J. Klopper, 
should proceed to Potchefstroom and confer with the 
authorities there. 

The commission proceeded to carry out its instructions, 
and a conference took place with the executive council of 
the South African Republic, then consisting of Mr. J. H. 
Grobbelaar, acting president during the absence of Mr. 
Pretorius, Mr. S. Schoeman, commandant - general, Mr. J. H. 
Struben, state secretary, and Mr. W. Janse van Rensburg, 
unofficial member. Mr. M. W. Pretorius was present by 
general request. But now the people of the north were 
found less eager than they had once been for a single state. 
It would be purchased too dearly, they said, if the price was 
to be the conventions with the British government. The 
executive council of the South African Republic held that 
the Sand River convention must be preserved inviolate. If 
that could be done and a single state be formed they would 
be very glad, otherwise a friendly alliance was all that they 
were prepared for. 

With this, the efforts to bring about the union of the 
republics may be said to have ceased, although the unionist 
party long hoped that Mr. Pretorius would be able to devise 

t86o] Dealings with Moshesh. 189 

some plan by which this project could be carried into 

Many Free State burghers who were not disposed to join 
the South African Republic, or who were indifferent to that 
project, had voted for the new president because he was the 
son of the famous emigrant leader w^io had broken the 
Zulu power, and because he had the reputation of consider- 
able ability in dealing with coloured tribes. His strength 
lay in his disposition to conciliate, but he lacked the firmness 
necessary to a leader in troublous times. 

As soon as possible after his assumption of office, Presi- 
dent Pretorius proceeded to Kroonstad, where the burghers 
had recently been in rebellion owing to the appointment 
of a very unpopular man as landdrost. His reception was 
most cordial, for the district was occupied by the staunchest 
adherents of the unionist party. He left there Mr. Lodew^^k 
J. Papenfus as provisional landdrost, and the volksraad 
during its next session confirmed the appointment. 

Next the president arranged to have a personal con- 
ference with Moshesh. The meeting took place during the 
first five days of May, at Wonderkop, in the district of 
Winburg, and was made an occasion of festivity as well as 
of diplomatic intercourse. Moshesh came attended by his 
sons, vassals, and a body-guard of six thousand horsemen ; 
Mr. Pretorius, to show his confidence in the great chief, 
would not permit more than twenty farmers to accompany 
him. Long speeches were made in the most friendly 
manner by the chief and his leading vassals, who acknow- 
ledged that their existence as a powerful tribe was due to 
the white people. Mr. Pretorius proposed to " Old Father 
Moshesh," as he termed him, to establish a combined 
European and Basuto tribunal on the border for the trial 
of thieves, and to support it with a body of Basuto police. 
To this the chief at once assented. It was agreed that the 
court should be stationed at Merumetsu, which place should 
thenceforth lose its old name and be called on this account 
" Ha-bo' Khotso," the Abode of Peace. A treaty to this 

Igo History of the Oj^ange Free State, [1860 

effect was drawn up and signed on the 4tli of May. There- 
after the principal men on both sides dined together, when 
complimentary toasts were drunk, and Moshesh's educated 
sons sang English songs. The following morning tho 
president reviewed the Basuto cavalry, and witnessed a 
grand dance, in which Moshesh himself took part. The 
meeting then broke up, and the farmers returned to their 
homes elated with hope that their troubles with the Basuto 
were at last at an end. 

In a very few weeks that hope was lost. The aborigines 
in the district between the lower Caledon and the Orange 
had never been wholly exterminated, though possession of 
the land was so fiercel}" disputed by white men and Basuto. 
After the war of 1858, Poshuli constituted himself the 
patron of such Bushmen as remained, and furnished them 
with horses and guns, upon condition of receiving a portion 
of their plunder. He allowed them to live on his mountain, 
Vechtkop, which by the treaty of 1858 had become part of 
the Lesuto. There they served him as spies and sentinels, 
giving notice of approaching danger. The depredations of 
these robbers were frequently brought to the notice of 
Moshesh, whose reply was always that the Bushmen were 
not his subjects, and that the white people were at liberty 
to follow them up and punish them in his territories. In 
March 1860 a party of burghers accordingly pursued the 
Bushmen, but found that to attack them was to attack 
Poshuli also, and that there w^as no possibility of capturing 
them while under Basuto protection. 

This was one of the questions brought forward at the 
Wonderkop conference, when Moshesh undertook to have 
the Bushmen removed from Vechtkop within ten days. He 
did not keep his engagement, however, and on the 20th of 
June these robbers, with some of Poshuli's Basuto, attacked 
and plundered a farmhouse during the absence of the head 
of the family, murdered a boy, and severely wounded two 
women and three children, the only other occupants. Mr. 
Pretorius immediately mustered a patrol, and followed the 

i86i] Visit of Prince Alfred. 191 

robbers to Vechtkop, where six of thera were shot ; but the 
remainder escaped with the greater portion of the booty. 
The president then requested Moshesh to cause the stolen 
property to be restored and the murderers of the boy to be 
given up to the Free State authorities for trial, and also to 
inflict upon Poshuli such punishment as his crime?^ deserved. 
The great chief paid but little regard to this request, so it 
became evident to the burghers that the prospect of tran- 
quillity which the Wonderkop conference gave for a moment 
would not be realised. 

In August 1860 his roj^al highness Prince Alfred, when 
on a tour througli South Africa, was v/aited upon by Moshesh 
at Aliwal North. The great chief was accompanied by 
twenty-five of his captains and an escort of three hundred 
men. To the prince he professed t'he most unbounded 
loyalty, and he did not hesitate to declare that in all his 
troubles he had been faithful in his allegiance to the queen. 
In somewhat vague language he asked that he might be 
restored to the position he occupied under the Na[)ier treaty. 
This request, made by Moshesh to the colonial government, 
sometimes in one form sometimes in another, meant merely 
a desire on his part for such a relationship between the 
governor and liimself as existed between him and one of 
his great vassals ; it meant that he should be countenanced 
and patronised, without being subjected to control in the 
administration of the aflfairs of his tribe. It was not then 
known exactly what Moshesh wished, but this much was 
ascertained a little later, after an application which he 
made to the high commissioner >to wards the close of the 
following year. 

At the beginning of April 1861 another conference took 
place between the president and the great chief, which 
lasted three days, and was conducted in a very friendly 
manner. It was held at Mabolela, the residence of Moperi, 
near Platberg. The establishment of a mixed court on the 
border v/as again referred to, when Moshesh professed once 
more to fall in with the president's views, but desired that 

192 History of the Orange Free State, [186 1 

some other place than Merumetsu should be selected. Mr. 
Pretorius made no objection to this, and the chief and his 
counsellors promised to give effect to the late treaty. 

The Basuto were then in occupation of many farms in 
the district of Winburg, and ignored altogether the boun- 
dary of the treaty of 1858. This matter was discussed at 
Mabolela, and Moshesh undertook to recall his people from 
farms belonging to burghers of the Free State, but he was 
careful not to admit that he had any knowledge of the 

The boundary between the Free State and the Lesuto 
from Jammerberg Drift to Paul Smit's Berg was, however, 
arranged between the two parties, by a slight modification 
of the old line of Major Warden, in favour of Moshesh. 
But it was impossible to satisfy every one concerned in 
defining limits to territory. In this instance Moroko felt 
himself aggrieved, and complained that land equal to two 
full-sized farms had been taken from him. 

This chief — Moroko — had always been held in great 
regard by the white people, partly on account of the assist- 
ance he had given to the early emigrants, but mainly owing 
to his inoffensive disposition. He was considered upright and 
honourable in his dealings, though intellectually inferior to 
Moshesh. Mr. Boshof had placed such confidence in him 
that no restraint was put upon his obtaining as much 
ammunition as he pleased, but Mr. Pretorius, in his desire 
not to offend Moshesh, had seen fit to place some restrictions 
upon this trade. Thereupon Moroko felt doubly aggrieved. 
The volksraad, however, as soon as these matters were 
brought before it, took steps to rectify them, for the 
members were anxious to keep on good terms with the 

The settlement of Nehemiah in Nomansland brought 
the Basuto into collision with the section of the Pondomsi 
tribe under Umbali, between whom and Faku, the ally of 
Moshesh, there was a long-standing feud. In 1860 hos- 
tilities broke out, but the operations were on a very petty 

i86i] Condition of the Basiito. 193 

scale. In Jime of the following year Masupiia and Poshuli 
went to Nehemiah's assistance with a large body of warriors, 
but were drawn into an ambuscade, and lost nearly all their 
horses, many guns, and thirty or forty men. The jealousy 
of his brothers which was felt by Letsie prevented further 
assistance being sent across the Drakensberg, and Nehe- 
miah's influence there was consequently much weakened 
from this time forward. In February 1861 he had again 
requested Sir George Grey to "concur in his retention" of 
the district in which he had settled, but the governor made 
no reply to his letter. 

Since Messrs. Casalis, Arbousset, and Gossellin first made 
their appearance in the Lesuto, a generation had grown up, 
and the results of the teaching of these missionaries and 
those who followed them were perceptible everywhere in the 
country, for indirectly nearly the whole mass of the popula- 
tion had been affected by their presence. Clothing, ironware, 
saddlery, &;c., of English manufacture, had come largely 
into use, the value of such articles, first appreciated on 
mission stations, having soon been recognised by residents in 
kraals where the doctrines of Christianity had found no 
entrance. A considerable trade was carried on in the Lesuto 
by colonists who exchanged goods imported from England 
for wool, hides, millet, and even wheat. Unfortunately the 
French missionaries and English traders were not the only 
Europeans in the Lesuto. A number of renegades, deserters 
from the army, vagrants, and men of abandoned character, 
had taken up their abode in the country, and were teaching 
its people the vices of their class. They were engaged in 
various kinds of fraud, carried on a contraband trade in 
guns and ammunition, manufactured gunpowder, trafficked 
in stolen horses, and generally set a wretched example of 
debauchery and crime. 

In September 1861 Mr. Van Soelen, landdrost of Bloem- 
fontein, was sent to Thaba Bosigo as a special commissioner 
from the Free State government to ascertain from Moshesh 
when he would keep his promise to remove the Basuto from 

VOL. IV, o 

194 History of the Orange Free Slate. [1861 

the district of Wiiiburg, and if he agreed to certain regula- 
tions drawn up by the Free State attorney-general for the 
establishment of the mixed court on the border. 

Moshesh felt himself at that time in a position of security. 
Sir George Grey, of whose penetrating eye he had always 
stood in awe, had left South Africa. The Basuto were 
supplied with as many rifles and as much ammunition as 
they required, and though they had not succeeded in an 
attempt which they made to manufacture cannon, they had 
been able to procure several serviceable fieldpieces. With 
all the neighbouring tribes of any consequence they were on 
terms of close friendship. 

Under these circumstances Moshesh spoke what he meant 
without any reservation or deception. He would not ac- 
knowledge a boundary line, nor had he any intention of 
withdrawing his subjects from the Winburg farms. As for 
the court at Ha-bo' Khotso, he rejected it altogether. Mr. 
Pretorius, he said, was free to have a police force in his own 
country and among his own people if he wished. But no 
courts excepting those of their own chiefs were needed by 
the Basuto. 

This would seem to be a plain issue, but the republic 
was quite unable to enforce its rights. Moshesh's reply to 
Mr. Van Soelen signified not only that he set the Free State 
at defiance, but that he would keep neither treaties nor 
promises when it suited him to break them. 

Notwithstanding the disturbed condition of the Basuto 
border, the country was making rapid advances in prosperity. 
In the west the population was increasing so steadily that 
in February 1861 the volksraad resolved to form another 
district south of Boshof, to which the name Jacobsdal was 

At the close of this year a purchase of land was effected 
which added greatly to the stability of the state. Ever since 
1854 individual Griqua proprietors in the district between 
the Riet and the Orange had been selling farms to Euro- 
peans. The new occupants, who were mostly emigrants from 

i86i] Removal of Adam Ko/cs Griqtias, 195 

the Cape Colony, came immediately under the jurisdiction 
of the landdrost of Fauresmith, and after six months resi- 
dence became burghers of the Free State. Adam Kok 
retained exclusive control over the Griquas in the district, 
and his government kept possession of all the unappropriated 
land. An idle Griqua, who made little or no use of the six 
or seven thousand acres of ground which he called his farm, 
could not resist the temptation of a couple of hundred 
golden sovereigns or a lot of showy merchandise which he 
could at once enjoy. The time was thus quickly approach- 
ing when the Griquas must be paupers if they remained 
where they were. 

It had been found impossible to maintain the petty states 
created by the Napier and Maitland treaties. But the 
treaties had been made, and it could not be disputed that 
they gave the coloured tribes who had been parties to them 
strong claims to the consideration of the British authorities 
in South Africa. Adam Kok had on more than one occasion 
fought side by side with English troops. He had done 
nothing to deserve abandonment. The cancellation by Sir 
George Clerk of the treaties with him, leaving the argu- 
ment for its necessity in abeyance, was indisputably a 
violent act. 

Sir George Grey felt that he was morally bound to do 
something for Kok and his Griquas. He therefore offered 
them a large and fertile tract of country along the head 
waters of the Umzimhlava and Umzimvubu rivers. They 
sent a party to inspect it, and upon receipt of a favourable 
report they prepared to move. There was no lack of 
purchasers for the farms that were left between the Riet 
and Orange rivers. There was such competition for them, 
indeed, that in many instances they brought remarkably 
high prices, for their position was far from Bantu locations. 

After all the ground in possession of private individuals 
was sold, the Griqua clan, numbering about three thousand 
souls, including the followers of the late captain Cornelis 
Kok and a good many blacks of different tribes who had 

196 History of the Orange Free State, 

recently joined them, moved off in a body towards their new 
home; but they did not arrive at Mount Currie, close to 
the present village of Kokstad, until January 1863. The 
interval was spent on the border of the Lesuto, where 
overtures were made to Kok to occupy the new country 
as a vassal of Moshesh. When he rejected these advances 
Poshuli's followers began to plunder him, and he had hardly 
been in his new home a month when he was obliged to 
write to the high commissioner complaining of Nehemiah. 
The object of the Basuto chiefs was to compel the Griquas 
to become Moshesh's subjects or to leave the countr}^ 

On the 8th of June 1863 Nehemiah again wrote to the 
high commissioner asking for a chart of the district, and 
stating that "Moshesh was satisfied on account of her 
Majesty's government having formally ceded the territory to 
his son." Almost simultaneously Sir Philip Wodehouse 
received a letter from Adam Kok informing him that 
Nehemiah had incited several of the petty chiefs on Faku's 
border to attack him, and that Poshuli had crossed over to 
share in the plunder. Reports from the colonial officers on 
the frontier left no doubt of the correctness of Kok's state- 
ment. The high commissioner determined not to interfere, 
but to let the disputing parties fight their quarrel out. On 
the 4th of August he wrote to Nehemiah declining to furnish 
a map and denying that the country had ever been ceded 
to him by her Majesty's government, and then he left 
matters to take their course. 

All through 1863 and 1864 the quarrel continued, without 
either side gaining an advantage. In 1864 Lehana with 
some of his followers moved into Nomansland from the 
Wittebergen reserve, and joined his forces to those of Kok. 

In March 1865 the Griquas made a supreme effort, and 
succeeded in driving the robber bands of Nehemiah and 
Poshuli from their fastnesses. These marauders managed, 
however, to get their cattle and effects safely into the 
Lesuto. In May they swooped down with a large force and 
secured a considerable quantity of plunder, but before they 

1862] Formation of a New DisUHct, 197 

could get away with it they were attacked by the Griquas 
and were routed, when most of tbeir followers were made 
prisoners. This event compelled them to abandon the 
country below the mountains, and for several years Moshesh's 
followers made no further attempt to occupy it. The 
Griquas then settled in the present districts of Kokstad and 
Umzimkulu, where each head of a family had a cattle-run 
of the usual size allotted to him. 

On the 26th of December 1861 Adam Kok and his council, 
through their agent Henry Harvey, signed a document 
whereby all the unappropriated land, together with the 
sovereign rights over the whole of their possessions north of 
the Orange, were ceded to the Free State, in consideration 
of a payment of four thousand pounds sterling. 

This purchase gave the Free State a great accession of 
strength, and it solved a question that had been a cause of 
irritation for twenty j^ears. In the next session of the 
volksraad it was resolved that a special justice of the peace 
should be stationed at Philippolis, and that the landdrost of 
Fauresmith should hold a court there once a month. But 
the president was authorised, in case this arrangement should 
not be found satisfactory, to station a landdrost there and 
form a new district. This was the course adopted by Mr. 
Pretorius, and on the 22nd of April 1862 Mr. J. F. van 
Iddekinge was appointed first landdrost of the new district 
of Philippolis. Six months later he was succeeded by Mr. 
Frederik K. Hohne. 

The Free State therefore at this date was divided into the 
districts of Winburg, Bloemfontein, Smithfield, Harrismith, 
Fauresmith, Boshof, Kioonstad, Bethulie, Jacobsdal, and 
Philippolis. Bethulie and Jacobsdal were subsequently for 
a short time made sub-districts, for the sake of economy ; 
but this arrangement was merely temporary. 

In the early days of 1862 the district between the Orange 
and the lower Caledon was convulsed by disturbances more 
serious than any which had previously taken place. On 
the night of the 8rd of January two of Poshuli's captains, 

198 History of the Orange Free State, [1862 

with Moshesli's concurrence, crossed the boundary and 
attacked Jan Letele's clan, killed several of his people, set 
fire to his kraals, and drove off the whole of his cattle. The 
farmers in the neighbourhood were in great alarm, and 
abandoning their homesteads, they went into lager as fast 
as possible. A despatch was sent with all haste to the 
president at Bloemfontein. Mr. Pretorius at once proceeded 
to Smithfield, where he found men gathering in arms from 
the country far and near. Jan Letele was threatening imme- 
diate retaliation, in which case a general war could hardly 
be prevented. Already this vagabond was driving the parti- 
sans of Moshesh from the mission station Beersheba. The 
traders were hurrying from the Lesuto, believing their lives 
to be in danger. 

At that time Mr. Joseph M. Orpen, who had long since 
left the service of the Free State, was residing at Beersheba. 
This gentleman was known throughout South Africa as a 
personal friend of Moshesh and a staunch supporter of 
what he held to be Basuto interests. For some years his 
influence at Thaba Bosigo was greater than that of any other 
white man, not even excepting the old missionaries, with 
whose views regarding the tribe he was in general accord. 

On this occasion he resolved to prevent a war, if possible, 
with which object he hastened to Moshesh's residence. The 
chief himself was not desirous of pushing the matter further, 
for he was always anxious to make it appear that his 
opponents were the first to break the peace, and in this 
instance it was clear that he could not do so. Mr. Orpen 
advised him to attach his seal to a letter to the president, 
proposing a fiiendly settlement and promising to restrain 
his followers from attacking Letele ; and to forward it by 
two members of his own family, who should remain with 
Mr. Pretorius as pledges of his sincerity. To this Moshesh 
agreed. His son Tsekelo and a young man of Letsie's house- 
hold were sent as hostages, and their arrival at the presi- 
dent's headquarters was followed by an immediate cessation 
of the excitement that had up to that moment prevailed. 

1862] Position of Jan Letele, I99 

Mr. Pretorius received Moshesh's overtures with grep.t 
satisfaction. He replied that he found much to blame on 
the part of Letele, and that he had placed an officer in 
charo^e of this chief, who would not in future be permitted 
to cross the border. He announced his intention of appoint- 
ing a commission to investigate the causes of the disturb- 
ances, and invited the great chiefs cooperation. 

The commission consisted of Messrs. Charles Sirr Orpen, 
Robert Finlay, Pieter Wessels, Jan Olivier, Job Harvey, and 
A. Swanepoel. After taking evidence during a fortnight, on 
the 5th of February they sent in a report, which was most 
damaghig to Jan Letele. The robberies from the Basuto of 
Moshesh committed by his retaineis were proved to exceed 
in value those committed by the Basuto of Moshesh from 
him. A number of degraded white men were found to be 
mixed up in these proceedings. They encouraged robbers 
on both sides by acting as disposers of stolen property, 
diverting to themselves the larger portion of the ill-gotten 
gains. The commission recommended as the only effectual 
remedy the removal of Jan Letele's people from the border, 
the allotment of ample lands elsewhere for their mainte- 
nance, and the establishment of a powerful police. But this 
implied resources in men and money which the Free State 
had not then at its command. What was possible to be 
done in that direction by a community so small, so jealous 
of its rulers, and so averse to taxation, was attempted. A 
few policemen were engaged, and an officer — Daniel Foley 
by name — was appointed with the title of superintendent, to 
endeavour to exercise some control over the blacks betweci) 
the Orange and the Caledon. 

Jan Letele never fully recovered from the losses he sus- 
tained on this occasion. In 1863 he was invited to remove 
to the northern part of the state, where he was offered an 
ample tract of excellent land ; but he declined the proposal. 
In the course of the next two years a good many of his 
followers, finding that he was no longer the lucky robbeir 
captain he had formerly been, abandoned him and went over 

aoo History of the Orange Free State, [1862 

to one or other of Mosliesh's vassals. He and a little band 
of adherents remained behind to be a source of constant 
anxiety to the Free State government. We shall meet him 
again in this history, but never more in a condition to play 
an important part in the disturbances of tbe country. 

On the 15th of January 1862, while the occurrences just 
related were iSlling all minds with anxiety, Sir Philip Wode- 
house arrived at Capetown and assumed office as governor 
of the colony and her Majesty's high commissioner in South 
Africa. Twelve days later he wrote letters which prove that 
Basuto affairs must have occupied much of his attention 
during the interval. To Moshesh he said that a commission 
was about to proceed to the Lesuto to ascertain his views 
and wishes respecting his and his people's relationship to 
the colony. To President Pretorius he wrote in terms of 
strong remonstrance and emphatic warning. The disturb- 
ances, he said, were caused by Jan Letele, but the responsi- 
bility rested with the Free State government that had not 
compelled him to live in an orderly manner. If his depre- 
dations were not suppressed, the British authorities would 
be compelled to set aside the existing treaties and make 
new arrangements for the preservation of the peace of the 
country. Mr. Pretorius replied, explaining the action of 
the Free State government, asserting that Letele's raids 
were only retaliations upon Poshuli, and stating his inten- 
tion of appealing to her Majesty if the treaties were set 
aside. Thus the intercourse between Sir Philip Wodehouse 
and the president was unfriendly from the very first. 

Before the close of the month Messrs. Joseph M. Orpen 
and John Burnet were appointed a commission to visit 
Moshesh and obtain information as to what he really wanted, 
the language of his letters being too vague to be understood. 
From the 11th to the 21st of February they held confer- 
ences with him and the leading men of his tribe at Thaba 
Bosigo, and ascertained that what the chief desired was 
merely that a diplomatic agent of the British government 
should be stationed with him, and that the high com- 

1862] Condtict of Neheviiah. 201 

missioner sliould recognise his ownership of the land below 
the mountains on which Nehemiah was living, which he 
claimed as having been ceded to him by the Pondo chief 
Faku. He did not propose to part with any authority over 
his people, but desired to be under the shield of England 
in order to extend that authority over a larger area. 

As regards the land below the Drakensberg, Sir Philip 
Wodehouse refused to admit Faku's right to cede it to the 
Basuto, but on the 13th of May he wrote to Moshesh that 
he would not disturb Nehemiah there as long as that in- 
dividual conducted himself as a faithful friend of the British 
government. Nehemiah v/as not satisfied with this promise, 
however, and endeavoured to obtain some document which 
at a future period might give him a claim to the district. 
On the 27th of November he wrote to the governor thanking 
him for permission to occupy the land, and requesting that 
he might be supplied with a chart of it. An account has 
already been given of Nehemiah's occupation of the district 
from this date until he was driven out by the Griquas of 
Adam Kok. 

The secretary of state took Moshesh's desire to have a 
British agent resident with him into favourable considera- 
tion, and on the 5th of June 1862 wrote to the high 
commissioner approving of such an arrangement, if the 
services of a trustworthy and judicious person could be 
obtained. But the governor professed to find a difficulty 
in the selection of a suitable officer, and the project was 
never carried out. 



Prior to this date the principal disturbances had taken 
place along the south-western border of the Lesuto, but 
after the ruin of Jan Letele by Poshuli in January 1862 
that part of the country remained for some years in a 
condition of comparative peace. The scene of strife hence- 
forth was confined to the territory on the north forming 
the districts of Winburg and Harrismith. 

Wherever there was vacant land in these districts small 
parties of Basuto settled on it, and as soon as they had got 
a foothold they commenced to encroach on the occupied 
farms. There was no police to check them. They did not 
go as warriors, but as settlers, taking their families with 
them, and professing that nothing was further from their 
thoughts than hostilities with the farmers. Now and then, 
however, a murder was committed, and thefts of stock 
became alarmingly frequent. 

In March 1862 the volksraad appointed a commission, 
consisting of three of its members — Messrs. J. J. Venter, 
J. Klopper, and J. Schutte — to proceed to Thaba Bosigo 
and remonstrate with Moshesh. They were to demand 
that the murderers of a young man named Philip Venter 
should be given up for trial by the Free State courts, in 
conformity with the sixth clause of the treaty of 1858, 
The murder had taken place in the district of Winburg in 
November 1861, and a son of Moshesh's brother Mohali 
was implicated in it. Next the commission was to propose 
that Moshesh should cede to the Free State a small piece 
of land in compensation for the cattle stolen by his people. 


1862] Attitude of Aloshesk. ^o3 

And lastly, tliey were to request Moshesh to send some of 
his principal men with them to inspect the northern line, 
that no one might be able thereafter to say he was 
unacquainted with it. 

The commissioners proceeded to Thaba Bosigo, and after 
some delay Moshesh fixed nine o'clock on the morning of 
the 17th of March for an interview. Punctually to the 
time appointed they were at his door, when the great chief 
sent them word tliey must wait till he had finished drinking 
his coffee, and then took no further notice of them or their 
messages. Mortified by the insult, but preserving their 
dignity as well as they could, the commissioners sent to 
Moshesh to say that they were about to leave the mountain, 
and would remain at its foot till the next day ; if he wished 
to speak to them he must follow. On their way down they 
met Masupha, who asked them to return, which they 
promised to do if Moshesh would send for them. 

After a while a messenger came and invited them to go 
back. They complied, and in the afternoon met Moshesh 
and his counsellors, to whom they made known the objects 
of their mission. No reply was given that day. Several 
interviews took place subsequently, but though at the 
last Moshesh assumed a friendly tone, he would do nothing 
satisfactory. He declined to surrender the men charged 
with murdering Venter, but said he was willing to make 
the family of the murdered man some compensation in 
cattle, according to Bantu custom. As for the northern 
boundary, he entirely ignored it. Who made it, he asked, 
and what right had they to define it ? It was not his act, 
and he did not feel bound by it. 

The volksraad then determined to appeal to the high 
commissioner. The president, Mr. M. W. Pretorius, and 
the government secretary, Mr. Joseph Allison, were requested 
to proceed to Capetown, and were charged (a) to endeavour 
to obtain from the government of the Cape Colony a share 
of the customs duties levied at the ports on goods brought 
into the country, (6) to ascertain from Sir Philip Wodehouse 

204 History of the Orange Free State, [1862 

the cause of the unfriendly languacre towards the Free State 
used in his correspondence and in his speech at the opening 
of the Cape parliament, (c) to supply full information con- 
cerning the conduct of the Free State and of Moshesh, (d) 
to request the governor to send a commission to point out 
the line between the Europeans and the people of Moshesh 
fixed by the Sovereignty government and confirmed in the 
treaty of 1858 as the boundary line of the Lesuto, and {e) 
to request the governor to act as arbitrator between the 
Free State and the South African Republic in the matter 
of the boundary between them, as one republic claimed the 
Klip river, and the other the Likwa, or upper Vaal, as the 
dividing line. 

When this intelligence was conveyed to Moshesh he caused 
a letter to be written to the president, in which he stated 
that he was sending his brother Moperi and his son George 
to be present at the erection of beacons along the line. 
Some commissioners on the part of the Free State were 
thereupon appointed, but they were so thoroughly convinced 
that Moshesh was not in earnest that they failed to appear 
at Winburg at the appointed time. This gave the great 
chief an opportunity to assert that it was not he, but the 
Free State, that was putting obstacles in the way, though 
in his next letter he admitted that Moperi and Georp^e had 
only been sent to see the line and report to him, that he 
might thereafter approve or disapprove of it. 

In July 1862 Messrs. Pretorius and Allison arrived in 
Capetown. They failed to obtain a share of the customs 
duties, and were unable to induce Sir Philip Wodehouse 
to arbitrate on the disputed boundary between the two 

With regard to their case with Moshesh they laid a mass 
of documentary evidence before the higli commissioner. 
They asserted that all the farms for fifteen miles (twenty- 
four kilometres) on the Free State side of the Warden line 
were at that time occupied by Basuto, and they requested 
his Excellency to send a commission to point out to Moshesh 

1862] Attiiiide of Moshesh, 205 

the boundary as defined by Sir Harry Smitti during the 
British occupation. Sir Philip Wodehouse consented, pro- 
vided both parties would bind themselves to accept his 
definition of the* line, and he wrote to Mosliesh to ascertain 
if he was willing to do so. The great chief would not give 
a direct refusal, but sought some pretext for evasion, that 
he might at least gain time to push his people farther 
forward. His answer was therefore that he would prefer 
to have the boundary settled by direct negotiation between 
himself and the Free State, but failing that he would agree 
to the appointment of a commission by the governor. 

While this correspondence between the high commissioner 
and Moshesh was going on, the Free State authorities were 
writing most urgent letters entreating his Excellency to use 
all haste in interfering, as otherwise the condition of affairs 
must lead to war. At the beginning of November they first 
learned Moshesh's plans for gaining time, and immediately 
appointed another commission, more with the object of 
proving that they were doing all that was possible to 
preserve peace, than with any hope of arranging matters. 

Moshesh now increased his efforts to push back the 
Europeans. Great hunting parties were sent far into the 
Free State, with instructions to drive the game through the 
farmers' flocks and herds and past their very doors. These 
parties polluted the water in the reservoirs, damaged the 
gardens, and insulted and terrified the owners of the 
ground. In several instances farmers were driven from 
their homes by violence. A small police force had been 
raised, but it was too weak to be of any use, and there 
were no funds to employ more men. In the Lesuto public 
meetings were held, at which the best methods of driving 
back the farmers were openly discussed, and arrangements 
for farther advances were made. The lawless condition of 
the disturbed districts cannot be better exemplified than by 
the following circumstance. On one occasipn an exasperated 
farmer named Fouche shot a Mosuto. The next day a 
party of Basuto went and murdered the farmer's son in 

2o6 History of the Orarige F^^ee State, [1862 

retaliation. And on neither side could any punishment be 

During the summer of 1862-8 the Basuto generally were 
in a state of excitement, for in addition to the effort to 
enlarge their territory, a movement of a religious nature was 
taking place. Certain individuals who professed to have 
communication with the spirit world were exhorting the 
people to reject the teaching of the missionaries, and were 
everywhere being listened to with attention. Moshesh 
himself was encouraging the introduction anew of old rites 
and customs, which in some places had partially fallen into 
disuse. The utterances of the revivalists showed in a gro- 
tesque manner the effect on the whole mass of the people 
which Christian teaching during thirty years had in modify- 
ing the ancient Bantu creed. Their fathers, when first told 
of the existence of a God who was not the spirit of an 
ancient chief, did not dispute the fact, but in a vague way 
stated their opinion that he resided in the bowels of the 
earth. One of these revivalists, who professed to have had 
direct communication with the Great Being, now found him 
above in the sicies, though another met him below. He had 
become in tiieir ideas a Great Chief, the road to whose 
residence was not a narrow path, as the missionaries declared 
it to be, but a broad highway constantly full of crowds of 
people. He was a polygamist, they asserted, Jesus was his 
son by one wife, the Holy Spirit by another. And yet, so 
irrational were they, the spirits of the dead chiefs of the 
segments of their tribe were the sole objects of their prayers 
and sacrifices, without any inquiry as to whether the God 
thus depicted was one of them or not. 

On the 28th of November the state secretary wrote to 
Moshesh that a commission consisting of Messrs. C. von 
Brandis, landdrost of Winburg, W. G. Every, commandant 
of the police, J. Schutte, and E. du Toit had been appointed 
to cooperate with his representatives in settling the boun- 
dary, and that Mr. Von Brandis had been empowered to 
arrange the details and time of meeting with him. No reply 

1863] Reiiremc7it of President Fretorms, 207 

to this communication was made before the 1st of January 
1863. Then, by Moshesh's instructions, the reverend Mr. 
Jousse wrote to Mr. Von Brandis that " the Basuto were 
busy in their gardens and had no time to spare for anything 
else at the moment." 

On the 14th of January 1863 President Pretorius again 
addressed Sir Philip Wodehouse, informing him of Moshesh's 
insincerity and urging him to appoint a commission. This 
letter had the effect of causing his Excellency to press upon 
Moshesh the necessity of arranging matters amicably, which 
he once more promised to do. 

Again therefore the Free State government appointed a 
commission — Messrs. Venter, De Villiers, Schutte, and 
Naude — who proceeded to Thaba Bosigo, and there, on the 
2nd of March, were joined by a few men of no rank or 
position in the tribe, whom Moshesh sent to report the pro- 
ceedings. To these people every beacon along the line was 
shown, and they then returned to their chief. On the 9th 
of April Moshesh wrote to the high commissioner that the 
line shown to his delegates cut off a considerable number of 
villages inhabited by Basuto, adding that he trusted the 
government of the Free State would not insist upon it, and 
asking for advice. 

At this stage Mr. Pretorius retired from the presidency 
of the Free State. On the 1st of October 1862 he had 
tendered his resignation to the volksraad, assigning as his 
reason that he desired to return to the South African 
Republic and endeavour to restore concord to that country, 
which was then politically in a deplorable condition. The 
volksraad in reply informed him that his services could not 
be dispensed with at that juncture, and requested him not 
to press the matter until the ordinary session in February 
following. On the 5th of March 1863 he again tendered 
his resignation, but was requested by the volksraad to with- 
draw it; and a resolution was adopted granting him leave 
of absence. He proceeded to Potchefstroom, where a sore 
domestic bereavement awaited him. On the 20th of March 

2o8 History of the Orange Free State, [1863 

his only son died, being the tenth child that he had lost, 
and he was then left with but one daughter. On the loth 
of April he sent a final letter of resignation to the state 

During the last year of Mr. Pretorius's tenure of office 
the Free State had not made much advance in wealth or in 
population. Still there were a few events denoting progress 
which should be recorded. On the 24th of February 1862 
the first building lots of the church village of Edenburg in 
the district of Fauresmith were sold. On the 19th of June 
of the same year the Bloemfontein bank was established. 
This was quickly followed by a local bank in Fauresmith, 
and this again was succeeded by branches of the Standard 
bank at Bloemfontein, Fauresmith, and Smithfield. In 
June 1862 the Paris Evangelical Society sold to some farmers 
the mission station of Beersheba as it had been reduced in 
size by the treaty of 1858. The reverend Mr. RoUand 
removed to a new station called Poortje, within the border 
of the Lesuto. The price for which Beersheba was sold 
was £6,000. Thus, one after another, the reserves of the 
Sovereignty days were disappearing, and the complications 
which they caused were passing away. 

On receipt of Mr. Pretorius's letter of the 15th of April 
1863, Mr. Allison called the volksraad together in extra- 
ordinary session. The members assembled on the 17th of 
June, and on the 20th appointed Mr. Jacobus Johannes 
Venter acting president until a regular election should take 
place. For the next seven months Mr. Venter was at the 
head of the state. 

The volksraad decided to recommend only one candidate 
to the electors, and from several whose names were brought 
forward chose for that purpose Advocate John Henry Brand, 
a gentleman of the highest standing at the bar of the 
supreme court of the Cape Colony, and whose moral and 
intellectual worth was generally recognised throughout 
South Africa. The 5th of November was fixed as the day of 

1863] Attitude of Moshesh. 209 

In May a deputation consisting- of Messrs. Job Harvey, 
W. G. Every, P. Greyling, and J. Olivier, had been sent to 
Moshesh, to endeavour to induce him to recall his people 
who vrere trespassing. The deputation met the great chief 
with his principal men at Morija, and on the 28th a public 
conference took place. Moshesh refused either to recognise 
the line or recall his people. He would not even promise 
to punish thieves as long, he said, as Jan Letele was pro- 
tected by the Europeans. Nothing whatever was settled. 
But on the following day Moshesh proposed that another 
commission should be sent, in order that he might point out 
where he wished the boundary to be. 

Among the residents along the Basuto border there were 
still some individuals who regarded either the incorporation 
of the country with the Cape Colony, or a federal union, 
as the only means for getting rid of their troubles. 
Moshesh, they said, was so powerful that by themselves 
they could not deal with him, and the Free State was there- 
fore obliged to submit to his exactions. The matter was 
brought by memorial before the volksraad which met in 
June, when a discussion took place in which the wretched 
condition of the petitioners was recognised, and a resolution 
was adopted that the legislature would not rest until the 
border was secure. But the only means that the members 
could devise was to empower the acting president to arrange 
with Moshesh to allow the Free State to pay regular salaries 
to the border chiefs for the suppression of robbery, and to 
give special rewards for the delivery of thieves and stolen 
stock, — which proved utterly useless. 

Then followed another letter to the high commissioner, 
and again another, imploring bis intervention. All had been 
done, said the state authorities, that was in their power to 
bring Moshesh to reason, but without avail. After this, 
Landdrost Van Soelen was sent to ascertain from Moshesh 
and Letsie whether the intruders could be forcibly expelled 
without those chiefs taking their part, to which Moshesh 
replied significantly that he was their ruler. And even 

VOL. IV, p 

210 History of the Orange Free State, [1863 

while Mr. Van Soelen was talking, Sophonia, with a thousand 
men at his back, was hunting far beyond the border and 
defying the farmers. 

On the 27th of August the high commissioner wrote to 
Moshesh that in conformity with the second article of the 
treaty of Aliwal North he was willing to appoint com- 
missioners " for the puipose of marking out so much of the 
boundary line described in the first article of that treaty 
as lay to the northward of Jammerberg Drift ; but before 
doing so wished to receive the chiefs assurance that he 
would be prepared to carry out their award." 

Moshesh now saw that he must do something:, or the 
high commissioner would be offended. He therefore, after 
creating as many delays as he could, consented to Mr. 
Venter's proposal that they should meet personally with a 
view of coming to a friendly arrangement. On the 25th 
of November the conference took place at Platberg, when 
there was a large gathering of subordinate chiefs and leading 
men. Moshesh rejected the Warden line, but proposed in 
writing a new boundary which would extend the Lesuto to 
the Vaal river and cut off from the Free State nearly half 
the districts of Winburg and Harrismith, including about 
two hundred and fifty farms held under British titles. Such 
a proposal could not, of course, be entertained by the acting 

The year closed with another appeal from Mr. Venter 
to the high commissioner, to which a reply was made 
that his Excellency was ready to render assistance in concert 
with both parties. 

On the 16th of November 1863 the first building lots of 
the village of Rouxville were sold. The farm Zuurbult in 
the Smithfield district had been purchased by a committee, 
and laid out as a church place in the usual manner. 

On the day appointed for the election of a president a 
great majority of the burghers voted in accordance with the 
recommendation of the volksraad. Three thousand four 
hundred and fifty votes in all were given. Of these, two 

1864J Amendme7it of the Constitution. 211 

thousand two hundred and seventy-six were for Advocate 
Brand, nine hundred and four for Mr. J. J. Venter, two 
hundred and forty-three for Mr. T. H. Bowker, and twenty- 
seven for Mr. J. Allison. On the 2nd of February 1864 
Advocate Brand took the oaths of office as president of the 
Orange Free State. 

The republic had now been ten years in existence, and 
several clauses in the constitution adopted in 1854 w^ere 
found to need alteration. No change whatever had yet 
been made in it, with the exception of the one already 
mentioned concerning the nomination of candidates for the 
presidency and a clause which had been added in 1857 em- 
powering the state secretary to take part in the debates of 
the volksraad. During the session of the volksraad in 
February 1864 this subject was considered, and several 
clauses of the constitution were amended. As the changes 
required to be approved of in three yearly sessions, they 
did not come into force until February 1866. 

After that date burghers consisted of {a) all white persons 
born in the country, (6) all white persons resident in the 
country for one year and possessing fixed property to the 
value of £150 registered in their names, and (c) all white 
persons resident for three successive years in the country. 

Persons coming under either of the last two clauses were 
required to produce a written certificate of good conduct 
from the authorities of their former place of residence, and 
give a written promise of fidelity to the state and obedience 
to its laws, when the president was directed to supplj'- a 
certificate of burghership. 

All youths on reaching the age of sixteen years and all 
other persons on obtaining certificates of burghership were 
required to inscribe their names with the fieldcornet of the 
ward in which they resided, and were made liable to per- 
form military service until they should attain the age of 
sixty years. 

All burghers over eighteen years of age were declared 
entitled to vote for commandants and fieldcornets. 

2i2 History of the Orange Free State, [1864 

In the election of a president and members of the volks- 
raad the following classes of burghers of full age were 
declared entitled to vote : (a) those born in the state, (6) 
those in possession of unmortgaged landed property to the 
value of £150 registered in their names, (c) lessees of landed 
property at a yearly rental of £36, [d) those in receipt of 
a fixed yearly income of £200, and (e) those resident in the 
state for three years and possessing movable property 
worth £300. 

It was required of members of the volksraad that they 
should be burghers, twenty-five years of age, owners of 
unmortgaged landed property to the value of £200, and 
never have been convicted of crime. 

The duties of the volksraad were defined to be the making 
t)f laws, and the control of the administration and the 
finances. Its ordinary sessions were fixed to take place at 
Bloemfontein on the first Monday in May of every year. It 
was to consist of one member for each fieldcornetcy and one 
for the seat of magistracy of each district, who were to be 
those receiving the greatest number of votes. Villages other 
than seats of magistracy were excluded from returning 

It was resolved that the constitution as thus amended 
could not be altered again except by the approval of 
three-fourths of the volksraad given in two successive yearly 

Provision was made for the extension of education. 
Itinerant teachers, who could give instruction to the 
children of farmers, were to receive salaries from the state, 
and in each district town there was to be a government 
aided school under the management of a committee composed 
of the landdrost, the clergyman, and three members elected 
by contributors to the school funds. The system of educa- 
tion, though humble compared with what it is at present, 
was thus as good as in most new countries. Its apex was 
the Grey college at Bloemfontein, founded some years earlier 
in accordance with plans designed by Sir George Grey. 

1864] Griqua Claims to Land. 213 

There was a question which came before the volksraad 
for decision daring this session, which did not seem of much 
importance at the time, but which in later years was one of 
the greatest difficulties the republic had to meet. Adam 
Kok had sold his territorial rights to the government of 
President Pretorius, the question was how far did those 
territorial rights extend. Concerning the country which he 
originally claimed there could be no dispute. But Cornelis 
Kok, of Campbell, had some time before his death formally 
ceded his chieftainship to his nephew Adam Kok, who for 
several years was undisputed head of the Campbell people 
and their territory. Was this ground included in the sale ? 
The Free State government maintained that it was ; Mr. 
David Arnot, agent for the captain Nicholas Waterboer, 
asserted that it was not, and that his client was its rightful 

Like all the Griqua captains, Cornelis Kok had laid claim 
to a. tract of country twenty times as great as he had 
any use for. There was no treaty with him, but Sir Harry 
Smith and the Sovereignty government applied exactly the 
same principle to him as to Adam Kok. In the case of the 
latter, individual proprietorship of ground was recognised 
between the Modder and Riet rivers, but there the chief lost 
his sovereiojn rights, which were limited to the district 
between the Riet and the Orange. In the case of Coi'nelis 
Kok, proprietorship of ground was recognised between the 
lower Vaal and Modder rivers, but his sovereign rights were 
confined to the territory beyond the Vaal. This was the 
condition of matters when the republic came into existence, 
and it had remained so ever since. 

Adam Kok, by a notice published in the Friend of the 
Free State of the 26th December 1862, denied that the 
territory north of the Vaal — known as the Campbell grounds 
— was included in his sale, although there was no reserve 
whatever in the document passed by his agent, and the 
people of that district had moved to Griqualand East 
with him. His repudiation of the sale and Mr. Arnot's 

214 History of the Orange Free State. [1864 

claim on behalf of Waterboer came first before the volks- 
raad in February 1863, when it was decided that a com- 
mission consisting of the president and Messrs. Van Sf^elen 
and F. Cloete should meet a commission to be appointed by 
Waterboer and settle the matter amicably. This had not 
been effected, and Sir Philip Wodehouse was then requested 
to act as arbitrator. His Excellency consented, and on the 
11th of February 1864 the volksraad approved of the ques- 
tion being submitted to his decision. But Waterboer then 
refused to sign the deed of submission. President Brand 
expressed an opinion that the best arrangement would be to 
offer Waterboer the Campbell grounds in exchange for the 
tract of land between the Orange, the line from Ramah 
towards David's Graf, and tlie Vetberg line, over which his 
sovereignty had been recognised in October 1855. This 
land, though less valuable for farming purposes, was on the 
Free State side of the Vaal, and its acquisition would give 
the republic a clear river boundary. The advantage of the 
exchange was admitted by some of the members, but the 
volksraad did not adopt the proposal to make Waterboer 
the offer. 

Mr. Arnot was now, however, putting forward claims on 
behalf of his client to a very much larger tract of country 
than the Campbell territory, for on the 21st of November 
1863 he inserted a notice in the Golesberg Advertiser that 
Waterboer's eastern boundary was a line from Ramah on 
the Orange to David's Graf at the junction of the Riet and 
Modder, and thence to Platberg on the Vaal. He thus ad- 
vanced pretensions to land which for fifteen years had been 
in the peaceable and undisputed occupation of the Sovereignty 
and Free State governments, and which included the former 
Korana and Bushman reserves as well as many farms held 
by Europeans. The government of the Free State con- 
sidered this claim so extravagant that no attempt was made 
to refute it. 

There had always been in the Free State a party— chiefly 
consisting of residents in the villages — in favour of union 

1864] Ecclesiastical Statistics. 215 

with the Cape Colony. Of late years this party had in- 
creased in strength, owinpf to the difficulties with Moshesh 
and to the refusal of the Cape government to surrender 
any portion of the customs duties on imported goods. Its 
leading members argued that by union with the Cape 
Colony such assistance would be forthcoming as would 
enable them to deal with the Basuto without danger of 
defeat, and that they would then enjoy their fair share of 
the customs revenue. In a condition of isolation, they 
maintained, the Free State was obliged to try to keep the 
Basuto tribe in check for the benefit, not of itself alone, but 
of the whole of South Africa, and at the same time was 
deprived of funds that justly belonged to it and that by 
union it would receive in the form of a strong police force 
on the border. In June 1864 memorials in favour of an- 
nexation to the Cape Colony, signed by one thousand five 
hundred and fifty burghers, were laid before the volksraad. 
But the party, though forming a respectable minority in the 
country, was unable to impress the volksraad with its views, 
so as to get a resolution carried in accordance with its 
desires. The majority of the farmers were averse to union 
with the colony, as they set a high value upon their 

The number of churches in the republic was rapidly 
increasing. In 1854, when Bi'itish sovereignty was with- 
drawn, there were only two clergymen in the whole 
country, exclusive of the missionaries with the blacks. 
In November 1864 a general assembly at Smithfield decided 
that the Dutch Reformed church of the Orange Free State 
should be an independent body governed by a synod of its 
own. The first synod met at Smithfield on the 10th of May 
1865, and continued in session until the 14th. There were 
then eleven congregations in the republic, of which seven 
were provided with ministers. In the first synod the seven 
clergymen and fifteen elders took part, seven other elders 
being prevented from attending by the unsettled condition 
of the country. 

2i6 History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

In addition to the Dutch Reformed church — the body to 
which the great majority of the inhabitants belonged — there 
was a branch of the Separatist Reformed church, with a 
clergyman at Reddersburg, The Wesleyans had congrega- 
tions and clergymen in a few of the villages, and the church 
of England was represented by several congregations with a 
staff of clergymen presided over by a bishop — the right 
reverend Edward Twells — who arrived in September 1863. 

A matter that was at this time occupying the attention 
of many people in the republic was the existence of 
banking institutions whose shareholders and directors were 
resident in Europe. It was feared that the Standard bank 
might acquire a power in the country dangerous to freedom, 
and it was generally believed that its operations were 
designed exclusively for the benefit of shareholders abroad, 
who had no other interest in the country than to make as 
large a profit as possible. Public opinion at length grew so 
strong that in March 1865 a law was passed by the volks- 
raad that no foreign bank would be allowed in the Free 
State after the beginning of the next year. 

As this enactment would cause foreign capital to be 
withdrawn, the volksraad resolved to create a paper currency, 
and constitute it a legal tender. On the 10th of March 
1865 a creation of notes to the value of £30,000 was 
authorised. They w^ere to be signed by the president and 
treasurer-general, were to be a legal tender for ten years, 
and after that period were to be redeemed at the rate of 
£6,000 yearly. They were issued on the security of govern- 
ment property. This capital was lent to the Bloemfontein 
bank, on payment of a yearly interest of six per cent. The 
notes, which were commonly called bluebacks from the colour 
of the paper on which they were printed, first came into 
circulation on the 15th of April 1865. 

On the 8rd of February 1864 the volksraad empowered 
President Brand again to request the high commissioner to 
point out the boundary between the Free State and the 
Lesuto, and on the 5th the president wrote in the strongest 

1864] Mediation of Sir Philip Wodehotise. 217 

language, entreating him to do so. To this the now stereo- 
typed reply was received that his Excellency was willing, if 
his mediation was distinctly accepted by both parties. And 
to bring the matter to a close, the high commissioner not 
only wrote to Moshesh asking him to state plainly whether 
he would accept or decline the proposal, but he directed Mr. 
Burnet to proceed to Thaba Bosigo and personally confer 
with the great chief. 

Mr. Burnet, in reporting the result of his mission, stated 
that he found Moshesh pretending to be ignorant of both the 
Warden line and the treaty of Aliwal North, and refusing to 
listen to a word about either. He talked with his children 
and missionaries from Monday till Wednesday evening, and 
then came to a conclusion which he embodied in a letter, 
and which left him free to do what he liked, if he should 
not be satisfied with the high commissioner's decision. Mr. 
Burnet told him that he would make no arrangement for 
the mediation upon any such document. He had drafted an 
act of acceptance, which was fully and clearly translated by 
the reverend Messrs. Maitin and Mabille, and after much 
wild rambling talk at eleven o'clock at night the great chief 
signed it. Mr. Burnet added that it was only fear of the 
British government which induced Moshesh to agree to the 

And so at last there was a prospect of relief before the 
Free State, for the government and people cherished the 
hope that if the high commissioner pointed out the line 
Moshesh would respect it. The president wrote to his 
Excellency expressing his warmest' and most sincere thanks, 
and the volksraad, with every demonstration of satisfaction, 
appointed two of its members — Messrs. C. J. de Villiers and 
H. A. L. Hamelberg — to form with the president a deputa- 
tion to meet his Excellency and represent the state. 

Mr. Burnet was directed to confer with the president, 
and make the necessary arrangements for the high com- 
missioner's journey. The Free State provided transport 
waggons and horses, which were sent on to Aliwal North. 

2i8 History of the Orange Free State, [1864 

lb was arranged that the work of inspectiug' the line should 
be commenced on the 14th of March, and all the parties 
were to meet at Mekuatling on that date, but very heavy 
rains set in, and a week's postponement became necessary. 
This gave Moshesh an opportunity to seek further delay, 
and he wrote requesting that on account of the heavy 
rains and swollen rivers the meeting might be postponed 

On the 16th of March the high commissioner arrived at 
Aliwal North. The Free State deputation was in waiting 
upon the opposite bank of the river. But now a difficulty 
entirely unforeseen arose. On the 26th of February, before 
leaving Grahamstown, the high commissioner had written to 
the president that he was undertaking the journey in the 
supposition that he would be allowed to make such modifi- 
cations of the line as he might consider just and reasonable 
and calculated to ensure the maintenance of peaceful 
relations. The Free State government was desirous that his 
Excellency should point out the line defined by Major 
Warden, proclaimed by Sir Harry Smith, and ratified in the 
treaty of Aliwal North ; but was willing that he should 
make such modifications in it as both parties might agree 
to. When Sir Philip Wodehouse reached Aliwal North, he 
addressed a letter to the president, asking for a clear under- 
standing on this point. The president could only replj^ in 
terms of the Free State view. Under the constitution, the 
volksraad was the only authority that could grant such 
powers as the high commissioner desired, and that body 
was not then in session. Several letters passed between the 
high commissioner and tlie president, and on the morning 
of the 17th they had a personal interview. It ended by 
Sir Philip Wodehouse declining to proceed on tlie mission, 
the difference between his views and the powers of the Free 
State deputation remaining as implied in the phrases " what 
the high commissioner may consider just and reasonable " 
and " what the Free State and Pjasuto deputations may 
think expedient." 

1864] Mediation of Sir Philip Wodekouse. 219 

From Aliwal North Sir Philip Wodehouse proceeded to 
Morija, where he met Moshesb. The great chief spoke in 
his usual manner of his love of peace, and promised the 
high commissioner to abstain from all acts of hostility 
towards the Free State. But such promises were valueless, 
for his people continued as before to press upon and harass 
the farmers of Winburg and Harrismith. 

The president returned with all speed to Bloemfontein, 
and immediately summoned the volksraad to meet in extra- 
ordinary session on the 4th of May. On the 5th the 
members resolved, in their wish to prevent war, to empower 
his Excellency to make such modifications in the Warden 
line as he might consider just and reasonable and calculated 
to ensure the maintenance of peaceful relations, and that his 
Excellency's decision should be considered as final. 

With these extensive powers Sir Philip Wodehouse con- 
sented to define a boundary, but until October he was unable 
to absent himself from the colony. On the 6th of that 
month he reached Jammerberg Drift, where Mr. Burnet had 
arranged that all the parties to the dispute should assemble. 
The high commissioner was accompanied by Lady Wodehouse, 
Sir Walter Currie, commandant of the colonial police, Mr. 
Josias Rivers, aide-de-camp, Mr. J. Burnet, Dr. Watling, and 
Land-Surveyor Dowling. With the president were Mr. J. 
J. Venter, late acting-president, Commandants Fick and De 
Villiers, and Fieldcornet De Wet. Moshesh was accompanied 
by a host of his sub-chiefs and attendants. Moroko was 
there also. And beside all these, there were present many 
individuals, farmers, missionaries, and others, interested in 
the question or drawn together by curiosity. 

On the 7th there was a formal conference, which lasted 
six hours. Each side laid its case before the high com- 
missioner. The Free State simply asked that the boundary 
established by the British authorities in 1849 and confirmed 
by the treaty of 1858 should be maintained. Moshesh 's case 
was that there had once been a time when the land between 
the Lesuto and the Yaal river was occupied by Bantu tribes. 

220 History of the Orange Free State, [1864 

The remnants of those tribes were now living in the Lesuto. 
He handed to the high commissioner a list of the names of 
chiefs and titles of clans who had occupied the country 
beyond the Warden line in the early years of the century, 
and he asked that the ground should be restored to the 
heirs of those who owned it before the wars of Tshaka. 
The high commissioner stated that he would examine the 
ground in person, and make known his decision afterwards. 
But he gave both parties distinctly to understand that 
whatever his award might be, he had neither the disposition 
nor the authority to take the slightest step to enforce 
compliance with it. 

On the 8th of October Sir Philip Wodehouse, accompanied 
by the commissioners of the Free State and of Moshesh, 
commenced an inspection of the country. As the party pro- 
ceeded, one Basuto delegate after another returned home, 
when the district in which he was interested was left behind. 
But the claims w^iich they made, like those of Moshesh, 
would in the ago^regate have involved the extinction of the 
Free State. The delegates of the republic confined them- 
selves to pointing out the Warden line and proving that the 
ground beyond it was unoccupied when the farmers first 
took possession of it. 

The examination occupied rather more than a fortnight, 
but by the 28th the high commissioner had reached Aliwal 
North on his return, and on that day delivered his award in 
writing. It was wholly in favour of the Free State. Both 
before and after this event Sir Philip Wodehouse showed 
that he was not entirely untainted by the prejudices against 
the unlettered and unrefined farmers of the interior of South 
Africa which most Europeans of culture are prone to feel. 
At the time of his mediation he believed the Free State to 
be too weak as a military power to contend successfully with 
Moshesh, but his sympathies were not attracted to the 
farmers by their supposed helplessness. He had read letter 
after letter informing him of the distress, the misery, and 
the danger of the white inhabitants of Winburg and Harri- 

1864] Award of Sir Philip Wodekouse. 221 

siuitb, without showing any emotion. At the very time that 
some of the most urgent of these letters, imploring his medi- 
ation, were coming to his hands, he had made a present of a 
quantity of gunpowder to Moshesh, not sufficient indeed to 
do much damage in case of war, but ample to show on which 
side his private inclinations were. He came to this country 
believing that the conduct of the whites of the Free State 
towards their black neighbours was oppressive, as is proved 
by the first letter which he wrote to President Pretorius. 
That three years after giving this judgment he prevented 
the destruction of the Basuto power is known to every one. 
But in the question of the disputed boundary the high 
commissioner was obliged to be guided by rules of justice. 
And in accordance with those rules he decided that the 
Warden line must remain the boundary, with only one slight 
change. During the British occupation a small tract of land 
north of one section of the line had not been divided into 
farms, as Mr. Biddulph, magistrate of Winbiirg, proposed to 
add it to the reserve assigned to Gert Taaibosch's Koranas. 
These people had long since moved beyond the Vaal, and the 
high commissioner now gave to Moshesh the ground which 
Mr. Biddulph intended for them. In the letter to the chief 
informing him of the award. Sir Philip Wodehouse described 
the country as he found it in the following terms : — 

*' I have satisfied myself that the line known as the Warden line 
was so drawn as to do no more, except in one portion, than preserve 
the farms for which British certificates have been given ; and like- 
wise that up to the time of the signing of the Aliwal treaty the rights 
of the owners of the farms had not been questioned, nor their possession 
disturbed. What is the present state of affairs ? From one end of the 
line to the other, and in most cases to a considerable distance within the 
line, parties of your tribe, without a pretence of right, and without any 
formal declaration on your part, have squatted on the several farms, 
have established villages, cultivated large tracts of land, introduced 
large quantities of cattle, and have by intimidation driven off the lawful 
owners. Everywhere are to be seen deserted and roofless farm houses, 
with valuable orchards fast going to destruction.'' 

Immediately after the delivery of the award the president 
requested Moshesh to cause measures to be taken for the 

122 History of the Orange Free State, [1864 

removal of his people from Free State territory before the 
end of November. Moshesh replied that he would call a 
meeting of his sub-chiefs to discuss the matter, and would 
communicate the result. 

A pitso, or national gathering of the Basuto, was there- 
upon held. At these meetings there is liberty of speech for 
every one, and on this occasion even the common people 
uttered their sentiments freely. All were in a state of violent 
excitement, and all, with two exceptions, clamoured for war 
rather than relinquis^iment of the coveted territory. The 
exceptions were Moshesh and his great son Letsie. The 
latter had none of the abilities of his father, except sufficient 
cunning to conceal his designs. He had intelligence enough, 
however, to know that his brothers were his superiors 
mentally, and that as the tribe was of recent formation they 
might easily wrest large sections of it from him on the 
death of their father. Extension of the Lesuto north of the 
Warden line meant increase of the power of Molapo and 
Masupha, which Letsie had no wish to see, and therefore 
he was probably in earnest when he gave his opinion that 
the agreement to abide by the high commissioner's decision 
should be faithfully observed. 

Moshesh's reasons were very different. There was nothing 
further from his mind than submission to the award in good 
faith, but he was far too prudent to put himself in the 
wrong with the British government. In that figurative 
language which he was so fond of usinof, he told the 
assembly that they were in this matter governed, but that 
some other cause for war might arise. His people under- 
stood him. It was thereupon resolved, though not expressed 
in words, that to save appearances the Basuto squatters 
should be withdrawn from the Free State, and that a cause 
for war would be found such as would not forfeit the 
sympathy of the British government. 

This is now made so clear by subsequent events, and by 
the collection and publication of letters written by instruc- 
tion of the different chiefs and contemporaneous records 

1864] Attitude of the Basuto. 223 

from the pens of Colonial and Free State officials, that no 
one at all acquainted with Basuto ways attempts to dispute 
it. But so wary was the great chief that Sir Philip Wode- 
house was completely deceived. Five months after the 
award, during all which time the Basuto were devising plan 
after plan to draw the farmers to attack them, the high 
commissioner informed the secretary of state for the colonies 
that his decision had been faithfully accepted by Moshesh, 
and that all fear of a collision was at an end. And both the 
high commissioner and the secretary of state complimented 
the chief upon his loyal and faithful conduct. 

What that conduct was in reality must now be shown. 
The chiefs who attended the pitso had no sooner dispersed 
than cattle -lifting was resumed on a very extensive scale 
along the south-western border, from which that quarter had 
for nearly three years been tolerably free. From the ground 
north of the Warden line the women, children, and horned 
cattle were removed, but the men and horses were left 
behind. A strong patrol of farmers was assembling, to be 
ready on the 1st of December to expel any intruders who 
might then remain. While matters were in this condition, 
on the 22nd of November a letter was handed to the 
president by some Basuto, who stated that it had been sent 
by Moshesh. The seal of the great chief was not, however, 
attached to it. Its purport was that if Sir Philip Wode- 
house would not give another line than that of Major 
Warden, Moshesh would not submit. The object evidently 
was to provoke an attack before the expiration of the 
month. The president, however, was too cautious to be thus 
imposed upon. He sent Commandant Wessels to Moshesh to 
ascertain if he acknowledged the document, when the great 
chief declared it to be a forger}^ 

About the same time some farms near Bethlehem were 
pillaged by a party of Basuto under Lesawana, or Ramanela 
as he was afterwards called. This Ramanela was a son of 
Mo^hesh's brother Makhabane, and was married to Moshesh's 
daughter of highest rank, who was a full sister of Letsie. 

224 History of the Orange Free State, [1864 

The attack upon the farms was entirely unprovoked. The 
homesteads were damaged, the loose property was destroyed, 
and the cattle were driven off. As this act did not provoke 
retaliation, Moshesh affected to throw all the blame upon 
Ramanela, promised to punish him for it, and engaged to 
compensate the farmers to the extent demanded by Com- 
mandant De Villiers, namely to restore their stock which 
had been driven off and to pay seventy head of good cattle 
as damages. 

When the award was communicated to the president, the 
high commissioner had counselled moderation in requiring 
its fulfilment, and had expressed an opinion that it might be 
found practicable to permit some of the Basuto squatters to 
remain within the Free State on reasonable conditions. The 
Free State government was not unwilling to adopt this re- 
commendation, and overtures from Ramanela himself were 
being favourably entertained at the very time when he 
plundered the Bethlehem farmers. After this, naturally, 
the Free State authorities resolved that none could 

At the beginning of December the president with a strong 
patrol inspected the line, and found no Basuto within it, 
except in one place a few who appeared to be panic- 
stricken. He then left a guard of two hundred men on the 
border, and returned to Bloemfontein. 

Moshesh's letters at this time, as ever throughout his life, 
were filled with peaceful expressions. He had ordered his 
subjects, he said, to withdraw within his boundary, and he 
believed that they had all done so, except a few of 
Kamanela's clan who would move without further delay. 
fie informed the president of a rumour which he asserted 
he had heard, that the Free State, the South African 
Republic, and Moroko had entered into alliance with a view 
of attacking him, and innocently asked if there was any 
truth in it. He stated that his people had abandoned the 
territory north of the line so hastily that they had been 
unable to remove the corn which was stored in baskets or 

1865] AttiUide of the Bastito. 225 

their loose goods and effects, and he requested that they 
mi^ht be permitted to return for such property and also to 
gather the crops then growing in the gardens which they 
had made. Moperi and Molapo also wrote, roaking similar 

The president, in reply, gave the chiefs permission to send 
people for the corn and loose goods at any time before the 
end of January 1865, provided the people so sent were un- 
armed, and conducted themselves properly. As for the crops 
growing in the gardens, he would submit the question of 
their removal or otherwise to the volksraad. 

Some of Ramanela's people still remained in secluded 
parts of the territory restored to the Free State by the 
award. On the 27th of December they attacked the border 
guard as it was patrolling in the Harrismith district, but 
were driven- back with a loss of one man killed and five 
wounded. The president then called upon Moshesh to 
remove tliese subjects of his, and to fulfil the engagements 
he had made a month before. The great chief repeated his 
promise, spoke of his love of peace and desire to do what 
was right, asked that a commission should be sent to confer 
with him upon the punishment of Ramanela, and when Mr. 
Job Harvey, landdrost of Smithfield, was sent with this 
object, would do nothing. While time was thus being spent 
in fruitless negotiations, Ramanela's people were busy 
plundering, and in the second week of January 1865 two 
burghers were severely wounded by them. 

On the 6th of Februarv 1865 the volksraad met. On the 
7th a resolution was unanimously adopted, thanking the 
high commissioner in the name of the government and the 
people for what he had done, and then the question of the 
Basuto squatters being permitted to gather the corn growing 
in the gardens they had made came on for discussion. 
After a debate of two days duration, resolutions were 
carried that the squatters could not be permitted to gather 
the maize and millet crops, which would not reach maturity 
for some time to come, but that under reasonable safeguards 


226 History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

they might remove before the end of February the wheat 
which was then ripe. 

Just before this resolution was passed, Moshesh's son 
Tsekelo paid an official visit to Bloemfontein. On his 
return homewards he drove off some horses belonirino" to 
farmers, and retired with them to a mountain stronghold 
between Winburg and Mekuatling, where he took up his 
residence. When shortly afterwards he was brought to 
account there by Moperi, his own father-in-law, no fewer 
than forty horses belonging to Free State burghers were 
found in his possession. 

On the 23rd of February the president wrote to Moshesh, 
making a formal demand of redress for Ramanela's misdeeds; 
but Mr. Harvey, who was then endeavouring to obtain a 
friendly settlement, was instructed not to deliver the docu- 
ment until everything else should fail. It was thus kept 
back till the time allowed for redress was unreasonably 
short, on which account the president cancelled it, and 
renewed the demand on the 28th of March. In this letter 
Moshesh was called upon to remove Ramanela's people from 
the Free State, to pay the fine of seventy head of cattle, 
to make full compensation for the wounding of the two 
burghers, and to punish the guilty parties, before the 15th 
of April ; to restore the forty-seven horses and thirty- 
seven cattle stolen in November by Ramanela, and to 
punish those followers of Ramanela who had attacked the 
border guard, before the 1st of May ; failing which the 
government of the Free State would act towards Ramanela 
according to the eleventh article of the treaty of Aliwal 

The only notice which Moshesh took of these demands 
was to forward on the 26th of April, fifty-eight of the least 
valuable cattle in his country, nine horses, and £4 in money, 
which the president immediately sent back to him. And 
while the cattle were on the return road, Ramanela made 
a descent upon a farm belonging to a widow named Uys, 
and drove oflf thirty-five horses. 

1865] Proclamation of War, 227 

A considerable burgher force was therefore called out, 
A guard was stationed at Koesberg to watch Poshuli, 
and a commando took the field to punish Ramanela. 
On the 9th of May the president left Bloemfontein 
and put himself at the head of the burghers. Ramanela 
then sent his cattle into Natal for safety, and made 
a show of resistance. On the 25th of May the 
commando attacked him, when after a little skirmishing 
he fled over the boundary with a loss of a few men 
killed and wounded. This was exactly what was antici- 
pated and provided for by the Basuto chiefs. The same 
stratagem that had lured the column of Colonel Napier 
at Berea to destruction had been employed to tempt the 
Free State forces onward. Thousands of cattle were in 
sight, apparently unguarded and ready to be made an easy 
booty. But the president was too cautious to fall into 
the trap. On the line the commando halted, and Ramanela's 
fugitive clan was pursued no farther. 

While the forces were assembling to conduct this opera- 
tion, the followers of Moperi were doing what they could 
to provoke an attack. Some of them took temporary 
possession of a farm belonging to one Van Rooyen, and 
made prisoners of the owner and of a man named Pelzer, 
the latter of whom they assaulted and beat. Another party 
seized on Free State ground a farmer named Michiel 
Muller, carried him away to Moperi's village, and detained 
him there for four days. 

On the 2nd of June the president demanded from 
Moshesh the delivery to the landdrost of Winburg before 
sunset on the 8th of the individuals who had thus assaulted 
and imprisoned Free State burghers on their own ground, 
together with a fine of fifty head of cattle ; and announced 
that if the demand was not complied with he would consider 
it a declaration of war. To this no reply was made, and 
so on the 9th of June 1865 the president issued from 
Leeuwkop a proclamation calling the burghers to arms for 
the vindication of their rights against the Basuto. 




Since the war of 1858 tlie relative military strength of 
the Free State and the Lesuto had altered considerably, 
though to observers at a distance the disparity between 
them seemed still enormous. The extent of the republic was 
much greater than in 1858, and in the interval immigration 
had largely increased its population. No exact census had 
yet been taken, but the number of Europeans of both 
sexes and of all ages was computed at thirty-five thousand 
souls. The Basuto had also increased in number, but not 
in the same proportion, as there had been no large influx 
of people from other tribes into their country. The subjects 
of Moshesh at this time were about one hundred and 
seventy-five thousand all told, or as five to one of their 

In another respect also the disparity of 1858 was lessened. 
There were still factions in the Free State opposing each 
other in everything political, but by common consent in this 
supreme moment of danger their quarrels were suspended, 
and with one heart they responded to the president's call to 
armg. It was not his party, but his country, that each man 
rose to aid. Moshesh was becoming feeble by age, and, 
though be still retained all the wiliness of his younger days, 
he was no longer capable of making much exertion either in 
body or in roind. As his weakness increased, the religion 
of his youth was constantly recovering more and more hold 
upon him, and at this time he was completely under the in- 
fluence of Bantu seers. His actions were now guided to a 


1865] Wai"- with the BastUo, , 2*29 

large extent by the dreams and ravings of persons who were 
half-maniacs, and by the castings of divining bones and 
charms. A great portion of the authority which he had 
once wielded had under these circumstances passed into the 
hands of his sons, and these men, whose talents were not 
beyond those of ordinary barbarians, were intensely jealous 
of each other. Letsie, the eldest son by the principal wife, 
would gladly have seen Molapo, who was next to him in 
rank, destroyed or driven from the country. Molapo was 
bent upon making himself independent of Letsie. Masupha, 
who came next and who was the ablest of the three, was 
endeavouring to draw adherents from both his brothers. 
Even this war, which was popular with all because it 
promised plunder to all, could not cement for a day the 
rival Basuto factions. 

In the matter of military supplies the combatants were 
on an equality, provided the war should not be a long one. 
The Basuto had accumulated a good stock of rifles and 
gunpowder, which contraband traders had brought into 
their country, and Moshesh had laid by a large quantity of 
ammunition received by him as toll from people of the 
north who had visited the Cape Colony for various purposes 
and passed through the Lesuto on their return to their 
homes. The leading chiefs had even obtained several cannon 
and some small field-guns. On the other hand these sup- 
plies, though considerable, were not inexhaustible, and the 
Free State had an open market in the colonies on the 

But apart from all comparisons as to numbers, political 
condition, and material of war, the advantages which the 
physical features of their country gave to the Basuto were 
so great that the Free State cause to ordinary observers 
seemed utterly hopeless. Yet thoughtful men might have 
remarked that from the earliest period of their history it was 
under such circumstances, when driven to extremities asd 
with enormous odds against them, that the stubborn 
Batavian race has over and over again proved its right to 

230 History of the Orange Free State. [1865 

rank with the best and the bravest of the nations of the 

A proclamation, intended as a reply to the president's 
declaration of war, was published in the name of Moshesh. 
It was the production of a European brain, but one saturated 
with Basuto subtilty. By a careful suppression of some 
facts and distortion of others the Basuto cause was put 
forth as a just one. The document was intended for readers 
in England, who knew nothing whatever of the cause of 
the war, and it was therefore so worded as to claim their 
sympathy. The respect of Moshesh for the Queen was dwelt 
upon, and Englishmen in the Free State were informed that 
if they would remain quietly on their farms they and their 
property would not be molested. It would have been too 
extravagant to have hazarded a clear statement that the 
Free State wished to deprive Moshesh of an acre of his 
ground, yet this was insinuated in the words with which the 
document ended, " all persons know that my great sin is 
that I possess a good and fertile country." Not a single 
Englishman in the Free State was deceived by this mani- 

At a council of war held by the officers of the burgher 
forces which were rapidly assembling, it was resolved to 
attack Moperi first, and on the 13th of June the Free State 
army encamped within two miles (3"2 kilometres) of that 
chief's kraal, Mabolela, the mission station of the reverend 
Mr. Keck. The men of each district were mustered under 
their own commandant, and at the head of the whole force 
was Jan Fick, the same man who had suffered so much for 
his attachment to the British government in the Sovereignty 

On the morning of the 14th eight hundred and fifty 
men, under Commandant-General Fick, with two fieldpieces 
under Captain Goodman, marched to attack Moperi. Two 
com.mandants — Malan and Fourie — were left with their 
burgheis to defend the camp. As the foremost file entered 
a ravine between mountains, fire was opened upon it from 

1S65] War with the Basuto, 231 

behind rocks and stone walls, but at too great a distance to 
do any damage. Immediately afterwards the burghers 
became aware that an army of eight or ten thousand 
warriors, under the chiefs Molapo, Masupha, Lerothodi, 
Moperi, Molitsane, and one or two others, was there to 
protect the kraal. Large bodies of horsemen^ yelling 
de6ance, came charging towards them, but halted beyond 
rifle reach. The hillsides were alive with Basuto foot. 

While the Free State forces were vainly endeavouring to 
draw their opponents into close combat, w^ord was brought 
that a strong division of the Basuto, under Letsie's son 
Lerothodi, was marching past them on the other side of a 
range of hills, with the evident object of attacking the camp. 
The commando thereupon fell back, and reached the camp 
in time to assist in its defence. Lerothodi's warriors pressed 
on in good style, and lost sixty or seventy men before they 
retired. A renegade European, who was leading one of their 
columns, was badly w^ounded by a shell, and died a few 
days later. On the Free State side, one burgher — Pieter 
Wessels by name — was killed, and another was slightly 

As the Basuto were beaten back from the camp, the 
action of the 14th of June was termed a victory by the 
burghers ; though they had not succeeded in making them- 
selves masters of Mabolela. 

Next morning a council of war was held. Nearly all the 
officers were of opinion that it w^ould be an act of rashness 
to attempt to take the kraal from the strong force there to 
defend it, and that as the grass had been burnt off' before 
their arrival it would be necessary to move away at once. 
There was one of the commandants, however, of a different 
opinion. Lourens Jacobus Wepener, a man held in esteem 
by all who knew him, for his upright conduct, his enter- 
prising character, and his generous disposition, bad moved 
from Aliwal North into the Free State less than two 
years before the war, and at its outbreak was elected 
commandant by the burghers of his district, Bethulie. He 

232 History of the Orange F^'ee StatL [^^65 

had gained experience in former wars between the Kaffirs 
and the Cape colonists, being now fifty-three years of age, 
and having served in every conflict that had taken place 
since he could use a gun. The opinion which he expressed 
was that the enemy would be inspired with confidence and 
the Europeans on the other hand be disheartened, if the 
army should retreat. It was necessary to take Moperi's 
kraal and to place the camp upon its site, in order to 
create enthusiasm among the burghers. To do this was 
worth a heavy sacrifice. He ofi^ered to call for a hundred 
volunteers from the other divisions, and with these and his 
own men, who he was confident would follow him, to make 
an attempt to take the place by storm. But, on the plea 
that there was verj?- little ammunition in the camp, the 
gallant commandant's proposal was negatived, and it was 
decided to fall back. 

Some time before the outbreak of hostilities — at least as 
early as the 29th of May, as is indicated in a letter of 
that date from Poshuli to Mr. Austen — the Basuto had 
arranged for an invasion of the Free State. The ordinary 
preparation of the warriors by the priests had been made. 
They had sent their women, children, and cattle from the 
exposed parts of the country into the Maluti mountains, and 
were only waiting to see in what direction the Free State 
forces would move. 

Before daylight on the morning of the 20th of June, 
some two thousand warriors under Poshuli and Morosi 
crossed the Caledon near its junction with Wilgeboom 
Spruit, and commenced to ravage the district before them. 
From the farm adjoining the commonage of Smithfield they 
laid waste a broad belt of country for a distance of thirty 
miles or 48 kilometres towards Bloemfontein. The inhabi- 
tants, warned just in time to save their lives, fled without 
being able to remove anything. The invaders burned the 
houses, broke whatever implements they could not set fire 
to, and drove ofl" more than one hundred thousand sheep, 
besides great droves of horned cattle and horses. In an 

1865] War with the Basuto. 233 

hour the richest men in the district of Smithfield were 
reduced to destitution. 

In this raid thirteen white men lost their lives. A patrol 
consistinor of fifteen buro;hers was surrounded at Jakhals- 
fontein, when tw^elve of them — by name Jacobus Greyling, 
Louis Taljaard, Pieter Wessels, Jurie Human, Barend Olivier, 
Pieter Swanepoel, Daniel Robberts, Hendrik Robberts, Hendrik 
Stroebel, Jacobus Kotze, Robert Robertson, and Peter Bay — 
were killed. The other three succeeded in cutting their 
way out. A young man named Hugo Stegmann was 
murdered in another part of the district. 

But the events of the dav showed that in a fair field 
the burghers were able to hold their own against ten times 
their number of Basuto. A patrol consisting of thirty-five 
men was surrounded on an open plain, where for hours the 
raiders hovered round them without daring to come to close 
quarters, and at nightfall the little band retired with only 
one man slightly wounded. The invading force was divided 
into three or four parties, the foremost of which was 
turned back by a company of eighty farmers. These 
burghers were joined during the night by a few others, 
and on the 21st the Basuto, who were then retreating 
with their booty, were followed up, and were so nearly 
overtaken that they abandoned betw^een three and four 
thousand sheep on the right bank of the Caledon, 

Another raiding partjT-, about two thousand five hundred 
or three thousand strong, under Masupha and Moperi, entered 
the Free State at a point farther north, and ravaged the 
country as far as the farm on which in October 1866 the 
present village of B?'andfort was founded. This party com- 
mitted several massacres of a peculiarly barbarous nature. 

Most of the half-breeds who had formerly lived at 
Platberg, and who had acknowledged Carolus Baatje as their 
head, by permission of the Free State government had been 
residing for some years at Rietspruit, about forty or forty- 
five kilometres from Bloemfontein. On the morning of the 
27th of June a large party of Basuto carrying a white flag 

234 History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

appeared at the village, and salated the half-breeds with 
friendly greetings. Moshesh's son Masupha, who was in 
command, said that they had nothing to fear, for he was at 
war with no one but white men. An ox was killed for the 
entertainment of the visitors, and the Basuto and half- 
breeds sat down together to partake of food, all the time 
conversing as friends. When the meal was over, Masupha 
o-ave a signal, on which his followers fell without warning 
upon the wretclied half-breeds and murdered fifty-four men 
and boys, not sparing even male infants at the breast. Of 
the residents of the village only eight men escaped. Of 
these, seven were at the time away on a hunting expedition, 
and one, who was a short distance off when the massacre 
took place, managed to hide himself in an anteater's den. 
The murderers compelled the grown-up girls to get into a 
waggon, which they took away with them, together with 
such other property of their victims as they fancied, leaving 
sixty-seven women and little girls behind. 

On the following day a large party of Basuto carrying a 
white flag approached the homestead of a wealthy farmer 
named Jan Botes, one of those who had been heavily fined 
by Sir Harry Smith after the battle of Boomplaats. 
Including two coloured servants, there were only seven 
individuals capable of bearing arms at the place. Deceived 
by the white flag, old Mr. Botes permitted the Basuto to 
come close up and dismount, when they fired a volley which 
wounded a German schoolmaster named Schwim and killed 
one of the servants. Old Mr. Botes they stabbed to death 
with an assagai. The remaining four had by this time 
seized their guns, and Botes' eldest son shot a Mosuto, but 
was immediately afterwards killed himself. The other three 
apparently frightened the assassins, for they pretended to 
ride away. As soon as they were out of sight, the survivors 
mounted their best horses, and rode towards the nearest 
lager. The Basuto followed, and easily overtook Schwim 
and the women. These they compelled to return. The 
women lifted Schwim from his horse, and his wife sat down 

1865] War ivith the Basuto. 235 

by him. The Basuto tauiited them for a while, then they 
made a target of the wretched man, and after firing several 
shots at him, finally stabbed him with assagais. After this, 
they destroyed everything on the place. When they left, 
the women set out again for the nearest lager, and after 
walking all night reached it in the morning. 

Another party of Masupha's followers fell in with some 
travellers on the main road, and murdered two of them, 
named Michiel van Helsdingen and Carel Mathee. A little 
farther they overtook a trader named Michiel Theron, who 
was endeavouring to make his escape, and murdered him and 
his servants. 

On the 29th of June the warriors of Masupha and Moperi 
were retiring with a booty of seventy thousand sheep, over 
two thousand head of horned cattle, fifty horses, and four 
waggons laden with spoil, when at Verkserde Vlei they 
were encountered by three burgher patrols which met there 
by chance. The white men, only two hundred and fifty- 
eight all told, did not hesitate to attack the Basuto, who 
were fully ten times their number. Commandant Louis 
Wessels, of Bloemfontein, led the charge. The result was 
the rapid flight of the cowardly band, who left one hundred 
and sixty dead on the field. The burghers had no other 
casualty than one horse killed. All the spoil that was 
being driven off by the raiders was recovered, even to the 
half-breed girls, who were rescued and sent for safety to 

A third raiding band, consisting of about two thousand 
warriors of the clans of Molapo and Ramanela, ravaged the 
country alonor their line of march to within fifteen miles or 
twenty-four kilometres of the village of Kroonstad. They 
murdered an old man named Luttig and a boy numed 
Nieuwenhuizen, and secured a large booty in horned cattle 
and sheep. 

In none of these raids were villages attacked, but the 
farm houses were set on fire, and everything that could not 
be carried away was destroyed. The lives of females who 

236 History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

were overtaken were spared, but in most instances they were 
stripped of clothing and taunted before they were set at 

On the same day that the massacre of the half-breeds took 
place, an equally atrocious deed was performed in another 
quarter. A party of Europeans with five transport w^aggons 
laden with goods belonging to Messrs. Wm. Munro & Co., 
of Durban, Natal, and destined for Pretoria in the South 
African Republic, where the firm of Munro had a branch 
establishment, had halted to rest their cattle on the 
Drakensberg, a few metres on the Free State side of the 
Natal boundary. The party consisted of Pieter Pretorius, 
who was a near relative of the president of the South 
African Republic, his sons Jan, Albertus, and Jacobus, 
Andries Smit, Jan Pretorius's wife and two children, six 
black men servants, a little black servant boy, and an 
Indian coolie. The oxen were being inspanned when a large 
body of armed Basuto under Ramanela made their appear- 
ance. The white men caught up their guns, but the Basuto 
called to them to come and talk as friends. The white 
men then went towards Ramanela's party and explained 
that they were not citizens of the Free State nor combat- 
ants, and that the goods on their waggons belonged to 
Englishmen. The explanation appeared to be satisfactory, 
and in the supposition that they were safe the Europeans 
laid down their guns, when instantly the Basuto fell upon 
them and murdered the five white men, the coolie, and three 
of the black servants. The other servants, being Batlapin, 
were spared. 

The murderers then left a guard with the waggons, and 
went down into Natal. In the afternoon they returned with 
large droves of cattle, and %vent on homewards, taking the 
waggons with them. On the way the waggon in which the 
widow and children were confined broke down, and was 
abandoned after the Basuto had removed the goods and 
loaded their pack oxen with whatever they thought most 
valuable. During the night the three Batlapin men made 

1865] War zvith the BasiUo. 237 

their escape, and conveyed intelligence of the massacre to 
Harrisraith, when a party was immediately sent out to 
search for the other survivors. In the meantime the widow 
with her two children and the little black boy, having left 
the waggon as soon as the Basuto were out of sight, had 
lost her way, and only in the morning of the 29th reached 
the village, after wandering about for thirty-six hours. 

On the 27th of June, at the very time that Raraanela's 
marauding band was lifting cattle in the colony of Natal, 
Sir Philip Wodehouse issued in Capetown a proclamation 
of neutrality, in which all British subjects, European and 
coloured, were warned against assisting either belligerent. 
It was, however, beyond his power to prevent aid from 
reaching both the Free State and the Lesuto. 

When intelligence of the sufferings of their kindred 
reached the colony, many a stalwart farmer shouldered his 
rifle and rode off to the Free State camps. The Batlokua 
refugees in the Herschel district could not be restrained. 
Lehana, son of Sikonyela, came up from Griqualand East 
with a band of followers, was joined by the Herschel party, 
and crossed the Orange to help the burghers against his 
hereditary foe. Many of the Fingos of Herschel, calling to 
mind ancient feuds and probably thinking of plunder, made 
their way to the nearest lager and tendered their services. 
Adam Kok, who was supposed to be under colonial influence 
though he was not under colonial jurisdiction, joyfullj'' seized 
the opportunity of retaliating upon the Basuto for the rob- 
beries of Poshuli and Nehemiah, and brought a band of 
Griquas to fight certainly for ^ their own hand, but on the 
Free State side. These auxiliaries all combined amounted 
at one time during the war to as many as eight hundred 

On the other hand Moshesh received equal assistance 
from his friends. The bravest warriors that fought for him 
were strangers from below the mountains who hastened to 
the Lesuto with a view of sharing the spoil. Among these 
'was a Ternbu clan under a chief named Tshali, the same 

238 History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

people to whom a portion of Emigrant Tembuland was 
assigned a little later by Sir Philip Wodehouse. 

Very different from a declaration of neutrality was a 
proclamation issued on the 2Gth of June by Mr. Marthinus 
Wessel Pretorius, then president of the South African Re- 
public. In the warmest language of sympathy he invited all 
who could to go to the assistance of the Free State. " Rise 
brothers, rise fellow citizens, give help where danger 
threatens. Delay not, or you may be for ever too late. God 
will bless you for doing good to your brethren. Forward! 
As soon as possible I will myself follow you." But the 
people of the northern republic believed that Ketshwayo 
was threatening them, and though most men agreed with 
the president that if Moshesh could be compelled to observe 
his engagements no other tribe would attempt to disturb the 
peace, it was not possible just then for much assistance to be 
sent from that quarter. 

The devastation of the border country, though it entailed 
ruinous losses upon individuals, was in a military sense 
advantageous to the Free State. A larger number of 
burghers could now be spared for the invasion of the Lesuto, 
as only small patrols were needed beyond the blackened 
border belt. The Basuto were almost sure not to venture 
so far from their mountains, and if they should, a few 
burghers on a plain would be able to drive them back. 

It was therefore resolved in a general council of war 
that an attempt should be made to get possession of Thaba 
Bosigo, with which object the Free State forces were to 
advance upon the famous stronghold in two divisions from 
different directions. 

The burghers of the districts of Smithfield, Bethulie, and 
Philippolis, with Jan Letele's people and the Fingos, under 
Commandant Wepener, marched by way of Koesberg. On 
the 13th of July they formed a camp within easy march of 
Vechtkop, the strongly fortified mountain which had been 
for many years the residence of the robber chief Poshuli, 
but which was garrisoned at this time by the clan ot 

1865] War ivith the Bas^Uo. 239 

Lebenya. Wepener resolved to make himself master of this 
stronghold, which the Basuto believed to be impregnable. 
During the night he called for volunteers to follow him up 
the steep path that led to the summit, and his call was 
gallantly responded to. 

In the grey dawn of the morning of the 14th, three 
hundred and forty burghers and two hundred Fingos, with 
the brave commandant at their head, stormed up the moun- 
tain, and at half past five o'clock, before the light was clear, 
they were in possession of it. The Basuto were entrenched 
behind stone walls built on ledges along the faces of preci- 
pices, positions so strong that with courageous defenders 
tiiey could not have been taken. But Lebenya's followers, 
though they consumed a large quantity of ammunition, shut 
their eyes when they fired, so that the loss on the Free 
State side was only one man killed and four wounded. The 
arrant cowards did somethinof even more disoraceful than 
firing at an enemy with their eyes closed. They placed their 
women in front of them wherever they were exposed, with 
the result that of the sixty dead bodies found in the sconces 
after the fighting was over, more than half were those of 
females. The commandant in his report expressed great 
regret at this circumstance, but no one can justly blame 
him for it. 

The spoil found on Vechtkop consisted of one hundred 
and fifty horses, five hundred and forty-two head of horned 
cattle, and four thousand five hundred sheep. The Free 
State forces were so inconsiderable that it was not possible 
to leave a garrison even on such an important stronghold 
as this All that could be done therefore was to disarm the 
enemy, who appeared to be thoroughly cowed, destroy the 
huts, and move on. 

From Vechtkop Wepener marched almost due north, 
destroying Poshuli's villages as he advanced. Morosi, in a 
great fright, fearing that the commandant might pay him a 
visit, sent all his women and stock away into the mountains 
along the head waters of the Orange. On the last day of 

240 History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

July Wepener's division reached Matsieng* and attacked 
Letsie's force, which gave way after a very short engage- 
ment. A camp was then formed in Letsie's town, and from 
it Wepener issued a proclamation in which he declared the 
country he had overrun annexed to the Free State, the 
boundary of the Lesuto to be in future a straight line from 
Bamboesplaats at the east of Pampoenspruit to Thaba Tele — 
a peak of the Maluti two thousand seven hundred and forty 
metres or nine thousand feet in height — about three miles 
or five kilometres east of Matsieng, and from that point a 
straight line north by compass to the Caledon. Two da3'S 
later he sent to the landdrost of Smith field such cattle 
taken from Letsie as he did not need. The herd consisted 
of one thousand one hundred and forty -two horses, three 
thousand five hundred horned cattle, and eleven thousand 
five hundred and eighty-five sheep. 

During this time the other and larger division of the 
Free State forces was equally successful in its operations. 
General Fick had with him the burghers of the districts of 
Bloemfontein, Harrismith, Boshof, Jacobsdal, Fauresmith, 
Winburg, and Kroonstad, under Commandants Wessels, De 
Yilliers, Bester, Joubert, Koos, Senekal, Malan, and Fourie. 
On the 17th of July he moved against Moperi's kraal, but 
found it abandoned. On the 20th he crossed the Caledon, 
and proclaimed the whole country north and west of that 
river annexed to the Free State. On the 24th he crossed 
the Putiatsana, his passage being unsuccessfully disputed by 
the enemy. 

On the 25th of July General Fick directed an assault 
upon the Berea mountain. The path up it was steep, but 
not so dangerous as that of Vechtkop. It was, however, 
defended by fully five thousand Basuto warriors, under 
Masupha, the ablest of Moshesh's sons. These were posted 
on crags and behind great boulders. They were well armed, 

* Commonly called "Letsie's new town '^ in the documents of the time. 
It is ahout ten kilometres east of Morija. Letsie took up his residence 
there after the burning of his huts at Morija in the war of 1858. 

1865] War zvitk the Basuto. 241 

man}^ of them with pistols as well as rifles, and they had 
two cannon at the top of the pathway. The burghers 
crept up from boulder to boulder, in little parties of five 
or six together, shooting down every Mosuto who dared to 
expose himself. Very few, however, ventured even to look 
at the storming part3^ The poltroons fired into the air, 
without doing the slightest damage, and discharged their 
cannon when no one was in front of them, as if noise 
alone would frighten back their opponents. Near the top 
it was necessary for the storming party to close in and 
make a rush. First upon the mountain were three young 
men whose names— Chapman, Owen, and Bertram — denote 
the nation from which they sprang. These gallant fellows 
actually dashed forward at a crowd of Basuto not half pistol 
shot from them. Close behind, the remainder of the storm- 
ing party came clambering up, when the assassins of the 
half-breeds and of the defenceless white men encountered in 
the recent raid, panic stricken, abandoned their cannon and 
turned and fled. 

In no former war, in no war that has since taken place, 
have the Basuto behaved in such a cowardly manner. Well 
might it be believed in the Free State camp that God had 
stricken their treacherous foe with confusion, for never in 
the world's history was a victory won against greater odds. 
The only casualty was one burgher wounded, while the 
corpses of a hundred Basuto were lying around. Masupha's 
kraal was upon the Berea. General Fick took possession of 
it, and formed his camp upon its site. 

The day after the Berea wa? stormed five hundred Baro- 
long under Tsepinare, Moroko's adopted son and heir, joined 
the Free State forces. This was a busy day with the 
burghers. At early dawn eleven hundred men commenced 
making a waggon road up the mountain. They were look- 
ing down on the mission station and on a great Basuto 
army garrisoning Thaba Bosigo. It was General Fick's in- 
tention to fortify a camp about a kilometre from Moshesh's 
residence, and then to send a strong force to meet Com- 


242 History of the Orange Free State. [^865 

mandant Wepener. In the afternoon Commandant De 
'Villiers' division with the cannon moved from the camp at 
Masupha's kraal to the south-western point of the Berea 
over against Thaba Bosigo, to try the range, when the com- 
mandant observed with satisfaction that Moshesh's house 
was struck with balls from both the Armstrong and 
Whitworth guns. 

On the third of August Wepener marched from Matsieng 
and joined General Fick before Thaba Bosigo, where the 
entire force of the Free State, consisting of two thousand 
one hundred burghers, five hundred Barolong, and four 
hundred Fingos, Batlokua, and Bamonaheng, was now con- 
centrated. Some twenty thousand Basuto warriors were 
gathered there also, but they could not be drawn to an 

On the 27tli of July a heavy fire of artillery was opened 
upon the flat top of Thaba Bosigo from a batter}'- placed on 
a point of the Berea which commanded it. The fire was 
continued day after day, though it was soon ascertained 
that hardly any destruction of life was caused by it. It 
was replied to by an occasional ball from Moshesh's cannon, 
which also did little or no damage. 

On the 8th of August an attempt was made to take 
Thaba Bosigo by storm. A strong party clambered up the 
pathway at the southern extremity, but on approaching the 
top found that stone walls had been built across the passage. 
The Basuto were in great force above, and had collected a 
number of boulders which they now rolled down on the 
storming party, compelling them to retire with ten men 

By this time the disorder which it is almost impossible 
to suppress in a body of men without discipline, huddled 
together without comfort and without constant occupation, 
was beginning to show itself in the Free State camp. The 
burghers and their commandants were socially on a perfect 
equality, and every man claimed tlie right of expressing his 
opinion upon any subject at any time. A dozen different 

1 86 5 J War with the Basuio. 243 

plans of carrying on the war were discussed, and each plan 
had violent advocates. Jealousies and divisions were daily 

It was the winter season, and in that high mountain-land 
the cold winds were keenly felt by the burghers, who were 
not provided with adequate shelter. It was with great 
difficulty that fuel could be obtained to cook the millet 
and meat, which were the principal — and at times the only 
— food. Subscriptions of coffee, sugar, biscuits, &c.; had 
been made in the villages for the use of the men in the 
field ; but the supply of such articles was ver}^ far from 
sufficient, as the impoverished people were quite unable 
to give as much as was needed. Altogether, 
the hardships which the burghers were undergoing were 
so great that they could not be sustained long. Many 
men were already becoming faint-hearted, and were devising 
excuses to leave the camp. 

The characteristics of individuals were strongly brought 
out by the kind of life they were leading. Some became 
morose, others burned with passion to punish the Basuto 
for causing so much misery, while a few seemed to grow 
more joyous and lighthearted as time wore on. In the long 
cold evenings parties would gather round the scanty fires on 
which their food was cooking, when the descendants of the 
old colonists would by turns sing psalms and make plans to 
finish the war. Close by a party of youths of English birth 
would cause the hills to echo with songs of love, and war, 
and the sea. The wits of many were sharpened by the 
change from the ordinary quiet life of farms and villages 
to the excitement of war, though unattended by pomp or 
show of any kind, and accompanied by discomforts that 
would demoralise the best army in Europe. The news- 
papers of South Africa contained numerous well - written 
letters from men who under other circumstances would 
not have troubled themselves to use a pen, and a lar^e 
quantity of verse in Dutch and English appeared in print. 
This, however, was mostly very indifferent as poetry. 

244 History of the Orange Free State. [1865 

though breathing a strong warlike — and in some instances 
also a vindictive — spirit.* ^ 

On the other side, the Basuto were less boastful than 
at the commencement of the war. They had secured an 
enormous quantity of spoil in the raids into the Free State, 
but much of it had been recovered by the burgher forces, 
and more had been wasted. There was nothing left that 
they could get in future by similar means. Their armies 
had been beaten by mere patrols in the open field, and two 
of their strongholds — Yechtkop and Berea — had been wrested 

* Perhaps the best, or, at any rate, among the best of the ballads 
which the war called forth was the following, written by Mr. William 
Collins, of Bloemfontein : 

Up burghers, all throughout our State, from Nu- to Ky-Gariep, 
Rise as one man, with heart and hand, shake off your seven years sleep. 
Be men at last, whate'er your stock, and prove that poet wrong 
Who called your freedom mockery, once in reproachful song. 
Prove that the lion on your shield is not an emblem vain, 
And scorn to wear another hour the foul Basuto chain. 
Shame not the European blood that in your bosoms flows, 
And rush like men, though few you be, on your ignoble foes. 
The Saxon blood which, scarce yet dried, their coward fingers stains, 
Wash out at once with fluid drawn from their own meaner veins. 
Can one true man in danger's hour the field of strife evade, 
While boys and greybeards weak go forth with rifle and with blade ? 
Behold the newly-kindled light in timid woman's eye. 
Which cries, though in unuttered words, " march men and do or die." 
Fear not yon seeming power great, a tottering structure built 
On years of fraud, too long endured, and half an age of guilt. 
Strike the gaunt image in whose shade we pine, without delay, 
Th(jugh iron it may seem, your strokes will prove its feet of cLu'. 
Think of the time when feebler hands a miglitier foeman quelled, 
You who then battled, or even you whose youthful eyes beheld 
Your fathers fight the Zulu hosts, and are their sons less brave 
When God and country call you forth your dear-bought homes to save ? 
Wait not for aye for promised help from cold onlooking world. 
By your own hands the avenging bolt must now, or ne'er, be hurled. 
And you, brave few, whose life drops flow from Britain's parent heart, 
Need you my humble words to show in this wild strife your part ? 
"^ Full little knew the treacherous foe liow his false words would turn 
To deadlier hate and scorn the hearts where generous passions burn. 
On then, my countrymen, and strive, with heaven-directed might, 
The God of armies will support your conflict for the right. 

1865] War with the Basuto. 245 

from them. Still they were by no means despondent, as they 
anticipated that the bnrp^hers would soon be worn out and 
compelled to withdraw from the Lesuto. 

On the 15th of August another attempt was made to 
take Thaba Bosigo by assault, an attempt made memor- 
able by the death of one of South Africa's bravest sons, 
Commandant L. J. Wepener. At sunrise six hundred 
burghers were left to guard the camp, and the rest of the 
force was moved out v^ith the intention of storming the 
mountain. Sach a want of preparation and above all of 
cooperation was manifest, however, that General Fick gave 
up the idea for that day, and issued instructions for a march 
round the mountain. Commandant Wepener, who thought 
that a failure to make the attempt would disgrace the Free 
State forces, then proposed to lead a storming party of 
volunteers. Commandant Wessels offered to accompany 
Wepener, and General Fick gladly consented. 

The arrangements were speedily made. A heavy artillery 
fire was opened upon the face and crown of the mountain 
above the mission station, under cover of which the storming 
party crept upwards from rock to rock until the entrance to 
the narrow and steep fissure which leads to the summit was 
gained. Just before reaching this, Wepener observed that 
there were not more than a hundred and twenty men with 
him, many who had volunteered having turned back faint- 
hearted. He sent down to beg the general to try to get 
reinforcements, but to the disgrace of the burghers below 
only a few Fingos offered. Across the entrance to the fissure 
a strong stone wall over a metre high was found, and it 
was seen that every few metres between it and the top a 
similar wall had been built, behind which parties of Basuto 
were lying completely sheltered from the fire of the artillery. 
Stii] the storming party pressed on. At the first wall 
Wepener fell, shot through the heart, and several of the 
best men in the commando fell beside him. Commandant 
Wessels continued to advance, and actually got possession 
of two or three of the barricades when he was severely 

246 History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

wounded and was obliged to retire. The storming party 
was then seized with a panic, and rushed in wild confusion 
down the mountain, followed at a considerable distance by a 
band of Masupha's warriors hooting and yelling. 

Besides Wepener there were nine men — Jacobus Engel- 
brecht, John Horspoole, Gerrit Joubert, Theodorus van 
Eeden, Sampson Daniel, Wilhelm Hoevels, Adam Rauben- 
heimer, Jan Dry, and a half - breed named Jacobus Stolz — 
killed in this second futile attempt to take Thaba Bosigo, 
and thirty-four others were wounded. 

From this repulse until the 23rd no event of any import- 
ance took place. The commando lay dispirited in camp, and 
was rapidly diminishing by desertion. The burghers had 
been more than two months away from their homes, and 
could not be kept together now that all hope of a speedy 
termination of the war had to be abandoned. 

Moshesh, who was well informed of what was going on, 
believed that events were about to take the same course as 
in 1858, and that if he could but gain a few days grace any 
danger of another attempt to storm his stronghold would 
be removed. On the 23rd he wrote to the president, pro- 
posing to invite the high commissioner to arrange terms of 
peace. When this letter was sent down to the camp to be 
forwarded to Bloemfontein, the chief asked for an armistice. 
General Fick informed the messenger that if Moshesh would 
supply fifteen hundred head of slaughter oxen as provision 
for his army, he would suspend hostilities for six daj^s. On 
the 24th Moshesh asked that the armistice should be ex- 
tended beyond six days, but he sent no cattle to the camp. 
A council of war was therefore held, at which it was decided 
to resume hostile operations at once, by detaching a force to 
scour the Maluti in search of cattle, and closely blockading 
Thaba Bosigo with the remainder. 

While these new movements were in preparation, a herd 
of from sixteen to twenty-five thousand oxen arrived at the 
mountain. Moshesh had been so certain that the burghers 
were about to leave that he had given instructions for these 

1 365] War with the Basuto. 24/ 

cattle to be brought down to their summer pasturage, and by 
some mismanagement liis orders had been carried out too 
soon. The whole herd was now driven by the back pathway 
to the top of Thaba Bosigo, to prevent its falling into the 
hands of the burghers. This was hardly effected when 
the investment of the mountain was completed, and then 
the cattle, without grass or water in a space so confined, 
soon became frantic. They rushed wildly about, trampling 
down such huts as the bombardment had spared, and press- 
ing whole droves together over the precipices, where they 
were dashed to pieces. For many days the meanings of the 
great herd were pitiful to hear in the camps below. At 
last these sounds died awa}^, and there lay on Thaba Bosigo 
over four thousand carcases, while at least three times that 
number were decaying on the ledges and crags. A horrible 
stench filled the atmosphere. Clouds of vultures settled on 
the carrion, but weeks passed away before it disappeared. 

On the 28th of August a messenger from Bloemfontein 
brought to General Fick the president's reply to Moshesh's 
letter. Adjutant-General Lange was at once sent with it 
to the foot of the mountain, where he displayed a white 
flag. Nehemiah came down, and the president's letter was 
handed to him, with an intimation that Mr. Lange would 
wait for a reply from his father Moshesh. In a couple of 
hours Nehemiah returned with Tsekelo. They stated that 
George was away — which was an untruth, — and that in his 
absence Moshesh could not make out the conditions properly. 
They requested Mr. Lange to go up and see their father, 
but he declined to do so. Nehemiah then asked for a truce 
of three days in order that Moshesh might have time for 
consideration, to which Mr. Lange agreed. 

In his reply, which was dated the 25th of August, 
President Brand stated that he was desirous of peace, not 
a sham settlement, but a real peace. He proposed the 
following terms; 

1. Moshesh to surrender Thaba Bosigo with all the arms 
and ammunition there to the Free State forces. The 

248 Histojy of the Ora^ige Free State. [1865 

mountain to be in future occupied by a Free State magis- 
trate, under whose supervision the Basuto chief should 
govern his people. 

2. Moshesh to pay within four days ten thousand head of 
horned cattle and five thousand horses as war expenses, and 
thirty thousand head of horned cattle and sixty thousand 
sheep as compensation for robberies committed and damages 
caused by his people. 

3. The land outside the lines proclaimed by Messrs. Fick 
and Wepener to be annexed to the Free State. 

If these terms were accepted, Moshesh was within three 
hours after receipt of the letter to send two of his principal 
sons to remain as hostages in the Free State camp. 

Such conditions at first sight seem extravagant. Moshesh 
was at that moment at the head of an army of twenty 
thousand men, well supplied with munitions of w^ar, and in 
possession of an impregnable fortress. The Free State army, 
that never exceeded three thousand combatants, was rapidly 
melting away. But the president felt that this combat was 
one of life or death, and that if civilisation was not to re- 
cede the Basuto pov/er must be broken. The burghers were 
going home, it was true, but nearly every man promised to 
return after a short visit to his family. The religious 
fervour of the people was high. Men everywhere not only 
said, but really believed, that God would certainly bless 
their righteous cause. 

The women showed a spirit of the deepest devotion. 
Family ties in South Africa are stronger than in most 
countries, and the absence of the men from their homes was 
attended with losses and privations to their kindred which 
it would be diflScult to overestimate. But wives and 
mothers were at this time urging the men to do their duty 
and free the state from the losses and indignities to which 
it had so long been exposed. 

Then there was unexpected hope of aid. On the 20th of 
July President Pretorius considered the South African 
Republic in such danger that, by advice of the executive 

1865] War zviih the Basuio. 249 

council, be proclaimed martial law in force. By this pro- 
ceeding the courts were closed for the hearing of civil cases, 
judgments for debt were suspended, and even the payment 
of certain taxes was postponed. 

But shortly after this Ketshwayo gave Commandant- 
General Kruger assurances that he had no hostile intentions, 
and, to show that he was in earnest, he removed his army 
from the Utrecht border and sent the regiments to their 
respective kraais. This enabled the government to act 
vigorously, and on the 7th of August President Pretorius 
demanded from Moshesh the delivery of the murderers of 
the citizens of the South African Republic on the 27th of 
June and payment of the value of the property seized, with 
the alternative of war. A commando of two hundred men, 
under Marthinus Schoeman, was sent to Zoutpansberg to 
assist in the protection of the Europeans in lager there ; 
and a strong force, imder Commandant-General Paul Kruger, 
was called out to march to the Lesuto in case Moshesh 
should not comply with the president's demand, which it 
was almost certain he would not do. 

Under these circumstances, the Free State cause appeared 
to President Braiid so hopeful as to justify him in en- 
deavouring to make conditions that would prevent the 
Basuto from again disturbing the peace. He stated subse- 
quently that he did not expect his terms to be accepted 
in their entirety ; he proposed them, but left it open for 
Moshesh to offer modifications. This is a course followed 
between civilised nations, but it is beyond question that a 
much better plan in dealing wilh barbarians is to say at 
once, this I will accept and nothing less. 



THE BASUTO TRIBE — (continued). 

On the day following the receipt of the president's letter 

Moshesh wrote to the high commissioner Sir Philip 

Wodehouse that he could not comply with the terms, which 

w^ere immoderate, and requested his Excellency to come and 

establish peace, offering at the same time to give himself 

and his country up to her Majesty's government under 

conditions to be afterwards agreed upon. This letter was 

sent to Aliwal North under charge of George Moshesh, who 

left with instructions to wait there until a reply should 


Moshesh did not reply to the president until the 17th of 

September. All this time a constant cannonading upon 

Thaba Bosigo had been kept up, but without causing any 

damage. Mr. William Reed, an Englishman who was sent 

to Moshesh with a letter from the high commissioner, and 

who spent five days on the mountain, described the 

condition of affairs there to Mr. Burnet for his Excellency's 

information. There were from fifteen hundred to eighteen 

hundred people with Moshesh, mostl}^ men, who were 

disposed in pickets along the edge of the mountain. There 

was no scarcity of food apparent. About three hundred 

head of cattle were still alive, together with ten horses and 

a hundred and fifty sheep and goats. In addition to meat, 

there was plenty of millet and coffee. The only article of 

which the Basuto were short was lead, consequently there 

was not much firing, only about a hundred shots a day. 

There were five white renegades with Moshesh, one of 

whom was a gunsmith. 


1865] War with the Basuto, 251 

The reply of Moshesh, which was written and signed by 
Tsekelo, was to the effect that the conditions proposed by 
Mr. Brand were too severe for him to comply with, and he 
asked that a communication might be opened between them 
through the medium of the adjutant-general. Mr. Reed 
had informed him that the president had just arrived in the 

To this Mr. Brand answered that he considered the con- 
ditions necessary to secure a real and permanent peace, but 
that he was willing to consider any modifications which 
Moshesh might wish to suggest. The chief could deliver a 
written statement of such modifications to the adjutant- 
general. At the same time the president complained of 
Moshesh making use of his son Tsekelo as his secretary. 
This young chief's character was such that a European 
would instinctively shrink from having any dealings with 
him, though the Basuto revered him on account of his birth. 
He had been false to every one who had at any time trusted 
him, he was a convicted horsestealer, and lie was notorious 
for his amours with his own brothers' wives. 

On the following day — the ISth — Moshesh asked for an 
armistice, in order that he might have a personal interview 
with Mr. Lange. This was conceded, and the interview 
took place, but without any good result. Moshesh was in- 
disposed to make an3^ concessions whatever. He sent a 
statement in writing to the president that his desire was to 
come to peace on equal terms ; that he had fully considered 
the proposed conditions, and found he could not comply 
with any of them ; and that he Would agree to nothing but 
the boundary defined by his Excellency the governor of the 
Cape Colony. Mr. Brand could therefore only declare the 
armistice at an end. 

By the 25th of September the Free State forces had 
become so weak from desertion that the council of war 
resolved to raise the siege of Thaba Bosigo. The men who 
remained were formed into a couple of flying columns, one 
of which, under Commandant Pieter Wessels, was to scour 

252 History of the Ofange Free State. [1865 

the country along the Orange, while the other, under General 
Fick, proceeded to the north to join a force then on its 
way from the South African Republic, and afterwards to 
attack Molapo. 

The Transvaal burghers — nine hundred and seventy in 
number — were accompanied by President Pretorius, but 
were under the military direction of Commandant-General 
Paul Kruger. On the 28th of September they encamped at 
Naauwpoort, and there, at three o'clock the next morning, 
they were attacked by Molapo's followers aided by a party 
of warriors from beyond the mountains. The burghers 
were taken completely by surprise, for the first intimation 
that an enemy v/as in the neighbourhood was the rush of 
the Basuto into their camp. But to spring to their feet and 
grasp their weapons was the work of only a few seconds. 
The fight was short, for the assailants speedily retreated, 
receiving a volley of slugs as they fled. Six burghers were 
killed, and in the morning the dead bodies of fifty-four 
Basuto were found. 

On the 3rd of October General Kruger encamped at 
Sikonyela's Hoed, and three days later he effected a junction 
with General Fick's force in sight of Molapo's town of 
Leribe, since 1858 the mission station of the reverend Mr. 
Coillard. The united commandos consisted of only twelve 
hundred men. The Basuto did not wait to be attacked, but 
a little before sunset they set their kraals on fire, and fled. 
That evening General Fick proclaimed the district between 
the Caledon and the Putiatsana Free State territory. 

The combined forces then scoured the country without 
any opposition and without any result, until the 23rd, when 
they encountered the enemy in great force at Cathcart's 
Drift on the Caledon. The seers had predicted that at this 
place their countrymen would be triumphant, the warriors 
had partaken of raw flesh torn from the bodies of still 
living bulls to give them courage, and all the ceremonies 
which their religion imposed had been carefully observed. 
The Basuto were thus confident of victory, and awaited the 

1S65] War with the Basuto, 253 

shock of battle more manfully than on any previous occasion 
during the war. But after a short and sharp engagement 
they broke and fled, leaving seven hundred and seventy 
horses, seven thousand nine hundred and forty-four head 
of horned cattle, and four thousand one hundred and fifty 
sheep, which were grazing in the neighbourhood, in the 
hands of the conquerors. 

It had been the custom when cattle were captured to give 
up any that individual burghers swore to as having been 
stolen from them. AU that remained v»^ere sold at auction, 
and the proceeds — after deducting the government dues of 
one-fourth — were distributed among the captors. This 
system gave rise to a great deal of jealousy and ill-feeling, 
as it was known that on many occasions cattle were claimed 
and sworn to by people who had no right to them. Com- 
mandant-General Kruger introduced another rule. Cattle 
once in possession of the Basuto, he declared, were lost to 
their previous owners, and could not be reclaimed as a 
matter of right. It was exposing unprincipled men to 
temptation to give them every ox they chose to swear to ; 
and therefore, except under special circumstances, all stock 
taken from the enemy should be kept for the benefit of the 

On the 30th of October General Kruger's force set out to 
return home, without making peace with Moshesh before it 
left. The burghers could not be kept longer in the field, 
and the president and commandant-general were anxious to 
investigate matters at Zoutpansberg. The Free State was 
thus again left entirely to its own resources to carry on the 

On the 1st of November Commandant Pieter Wessels 
with a small party of burghers, a few Fingos from Herschel, 
Jan Letele's Bamonaheng, and Lehana's Batlokua, attacked 
Morosi's clan on the north bank of the Orange river. On 
this and the following day one hundred and five Baputi 
were killed, and fifty-three horses, nine hundred and thirty- 
four head of horned cattle, a-nd two thousand and thirty- 

^S4 History of the Orange Free State. [1865 

two sheep were captured. Morosi in this extremity sent 
messengers to Mr. John Austen, superintendent of the Witte- 
bergen reserve and the nearest colonial officer, to ask to be 
taken under British protection. He did this without any 
reference to Moshesh. Mr. Austen at once forwarded the 
application to Mr. Burnet, civil commissioner of Aliwal 
North, for transmission to Sir Philip Wodehouse. On the 
5th of November Morosi seat to Mr. Austen to say that if 
he was attacked again he would take refuge with his 
whole following in the reserve. 

As it would not be possible to get a reply from Cape- 
town within a fortnight, Mr. Austen then wrote to 
Commandant Wessels offering his services as a mediator, 
and an arrangement was made by which Morosi on payment 
of five hundred head of cattle obtained an armistice until 
the president could be communicated with. Mr. Brand 
offered to conclude a final peace with him on his paying 
three hundred horses, three thousand head of horned cattle, 
and fifteen thousand sheep, within fifteen dd^ySy and giving 
two of his sons or sub-chiefs as hostages for his good 
conduct. These terms, which must be viewed as remarkablv 
lenient considering the part which the Baputi took in the 
raid into the Smithfield district, were rejected by Morosi. 
A day or two later he learned that the high commissioner 
declined to entertain his application. Some of his followers 
then fled to the reserve, but the chief himself with the 
greater number of his people retired to the rugged country 
near the sources of the Orange, and took no further part 
in the war. 

The failure of the attempt to take Thaba Bosigo necessi- 
tated the raising of additional forces by the Free State. In 
a civilised community it is not possible under any circum- 
stances for more than about one-fifteenth of the whole 
number of inhabitants to be employed at any one time in 
war beyond their own borders. Very few nations can put 
that proportion into the field, for it implies an almost total 
cessation of ordinary industries. The republic could not on 

Ms] War zvitk the Basuto- a5 

this basis send more than two thousand three hundred and 
fifty burghers into the Lesuto, and that number was insuf- 
ficient, even if it could be kept up. In point of fact two 
thousand one hundred was the his^hest number ever attained 
during the war, and the army could not be kept longer than 
two months at that strength. The president therefore, as 
the onl}^ means of increasing his force, commissioned Messrs. 
Webster and Tainton, two competent and popular officers, to 
raise bodies of European and coloured volunteers. The Free 
State had no funds, and therefore the only pay that could 
be offered to the volunteers was such cattle as they could 

The high commissioner, however, regarded this method of 
raising an army with no favourable eye. The greatest 
difficulty that the colonial government had to contend with 
was the tendency of the Bantu tribes to appropriate that 
which did not belong to them, and here was a direct 
invitation to enter upon a career of fighting for booty. He 
had issued a proclamation of neutrality, which the imperial 
authorities had entirely approved of, and as it was evident 
that any volunteers must be British subjects, here was an 
invitation to restless spirits in the colony to set the govern- 
ment at defiance. On the 7th of November he addressed a 
letter of remonstrance to the president, and on the 28th of 
the same month he wrote in still stronger terms, threaten- 
ing that if the practice was continued he would prohibit 
the supply of arms and ammunition to the Free State. The 
colonial officers on the frontier were directed to use the 
utmost vigilance to prevent infra^ctions of the foreign en- 
listment act, and a reward of £50 was ofiered for the 
convietion of any one found recruiting in the colony. 

From this time until the end of the year very little 
occurred that is worthy of notice. On the 1st of December 
General Fick after a sharp skirmish took possession of 
Leribe for the second time, when Molapo fled to Thaba 
Patsoa, a strong mountain about fifteen miles or twenty- 
four kilometres to the eastward, in the Maluti range. On 

256 History of the Orange Free State. [1865 

the 6th an engagement between the burghers, four hundred 
and fifty in number, and some three thousand Basuto, took 
place at Platberg, when General Fick lost three men and 
the Basuto lost fifty. Early in the month the chief 
Lebenya with his followers abandoned the Basuto cause, 
crossed over into the Wittebergen reserve, and claimed 
British protection. 

The Basuto avoided meeting their opponents in force, but 
whenever an opportunity occurred of cutting off small 
parties they took advantage of it. They did not spare 
those of their own colour who were in service with the 
burghers. Thus, on one occasion about this time three 
Europeans and two blacks were surprised when gathering 
fuel, and were all murdered. On another occasion two 
white men, father and son, and two blacks, who ventured 
with waggons too near the Lesuto, were captured and 
were all put to death. In most instances the dead bodies 
were mutilated in a shocking manner. The Free State 
forces, on their part, were doing what they could to 
weaken their enemy by destroying the crops and picking 
up a few cattle here and there. 

At this stage it will be well to relate the consequences 
of Ramanela's raid into Natal on the 27th of June, as that 
event can hardly be separated from the war. 

After the murder of Pieter Pretorius's party, the followers 
of Ramanela descended the Drakensberg and entered a part 
of Natal where cattle kept on the highlands of the Harri- 
smith district during the hot season were usually sent to 
graze in the winter months. A good many farmers were 
in fact residents of Natal at one season of the year, and 
of the Free State at another. The raiders seized two 
hundred and forty-eight horses, one thousand six hundred 
and nineteen head of horned cattle, one thousand seven 
hundred and seven sheep, and three hundred and seven 
goats, valued altogether, with the damage done to other 
property, at from £17,000 to £20,000. They wounded one 
white man, and killed three blacks. 

1865] War iviih the Basuto. 257 

The first rumours of this inroad which reached the 
government at Maritzburg were exaggerations of the real 
facts, and created unnecessary alarm. The volunteers of 
the colony were immediately called out, and with all the 
available troops were sent to Ladismith. The - colonial 
secretary — ^ Major Erskiue, — and the secretary for native 
affairs — Mr. Theophilus Shepstone, — proceeded to the 
border to take measures for its defence, and the resident 
magistrate of Weenen was sent to Molapo to ask for 
redress. The volunteers on their way to the front detected 
a party of Basuto plundering a farm, but the marauders 
fled so hastily that they could not be overtaken. 

On the 5th of July Molapo informed the representatives 
of the Natal government that Ramanela had acted in dis- 
obedience of positive orders ; that the stolen stock was being 
collected by him for the purpose of being restored ; that he, 
for his father and himself, was willing to pay compensation 
for damages ; and also that, if required, he would try to 
deliver Ramanela for punishment. On the faith of these 
assurances the volunteers were permitted to return home, 
and Major Erskine went back to his duties at Maritzburg. 
The imperial troops, consisting of infantry and artillery, 
were left at Ladismith, and Mr. Shepstone with a few Cape 
mounted riflemen and a thousand Natal blacks formed a 
camp on the Basuto border. 

Sir Percy Douglas, who then commanded the British 
troops in South Africa, was at the time in Maritzburg. He 
sent intelligence of the inroad overland to King - Williams - 
town, whence it was conveyed by telegraph to the high 
commissioner, who alone had authority to deal with inde- 
pendent chiefs. On receipt of the telegram Sir Philip Wode- 
house sent to Moshesh, requiring him to restore the stolen 
stock instantly, to make reparation for the damage done, and 
to prohibit such acts in future. Moshesh replied that before 
the demand reached him he had begun to collect the cattle 
for the purpose of sending them back, and had given orders 
that anything missing should be replaced. 


258 History of the Orange Free State. [1865 

This letter oui^ht to have proved to Sir Philip Wode- 
house, if proof was still wanting, how utterly untrustworthy 
Moshesh's statements were. He had not done as he said. 
A few days before his letter was written, his son Molapo had 
returned thirty - nine horses, one hundred and sixty-one head 
of horned cattle, one hundred and ninety -four sheep, and 
forty goats, and had informed Mr. Shepstone that Moshesh 
and Letsie not only did not approve of the promises he had 
made, but that Moshesh had sent word that Ramanela would 
not be compelled to make restitution. Molapo believed that 
Letsie would be well pleased if the Natal forces were to enter 
his district, which was contiguous to the Natal border, and 
punish him for the acts of Ramanela, though that marauder 
was not in the least under his control. He offered to aban- 
don his father and brother, and to place himself and his 
people under the protection and control of the Natal govern- 
ment. The high commissioner, however, would only deal 
with Moshesh as the head of the tribe. 

The apparent impunity with which the inroad had been 
made was an encouragement to bands of robbers to make 
Natal a field of operations, and early in August a case of 
cattle-lifting on such a large scale occurred that by the 
government and the people it was commonly spoken of as a 
second raid. Moshesh in the mean time was dealing with 
the matter as if it was of little importance. Utterly regard- 
less of truth, he wrote to Mr. Shepstone, as he had written 
to Sir Philip Wodehouse, that he had given orders to 
Ramanela to restore everything without delay. 

After waiting two months, as the only cattle sent back 
were the few delivered by Molapo, the high commissioner 
concluded that it was necessary to make a more formal 
demand than he had hitherto done. He declined to take 
into consideration the expense which the Natal government 
had incurred, and resolved to call upon the Basuto to refund 
nothing more than the actual value of the property taken 
and destroyed. He believed that upon the estimate received 
from Natal ten thousand head of full - grown cattle would 

1865] War with the Basuto. 259 

suffice to cover this, and on the 26th of August he wrote to 
Moshesh calling upon him to give instructions for the imme- 
diate delivery to the officers of the Natal government of that 
number or an equivalent in sheep at the rate of five sheep 
for each bullock. This letter was forwarded from Aliwal 
North to Thaba Bosigo by a special messenger, Mr. William 

Mr. Reed proceeded by way of Bloemfontein, where he 
found the president just leaving for the camp, and accom- 
panied him to Thaba Bosigo. At the foot of the mountain 
he displayed an English flag, upon which Moshesh sent down 
for him, and he at once went up. Forty or fifty paces from 
the top the chief and his son Tsekelo met him, when Tsekelo 
read and interpreted his Excellency's letter. Mr. Reed was 
taken to a cave about fifty metres from the summit of the 
mountain, where he lodged for several days, until Moshesh 
was pleased to send him back with a reply, compelling him 
at the same time to avoid the Free State camp and to 
take a circuitous path through the Lesuto. The letter which 
he carried back was dated the 18th of September. In it 
Moshesh said, " The cattle stolen from the Natal territory 
have been restored to that government. I have already 
given myself and whole of my country into the hands of 
the Queen's government. Your Excellency may therefore 
consider the whole of the Basutoland under j^our jurisdiction, 
to deal with us, and the compensation demanded, according 
to your Excellency's discretion." 

There was certainly a difficulty in dealing according to 
the ideas of Europeans with a man who could dictate such 
a letter as this. What the high commissioner did was to 
inform the chief that until the question of making good 
the damage caused by Ramanela was disposed of, he was 
precluded from entertaining proposals for closer union 
between the British government and the Basuto. He then 
directed Mr. Burnet to proceed to Thaba Bosigo and en- 
deavour to induce Moshesh to issue positive instructions 
for the delivery of the cattle and the punishment of 

26o History of the Orange Free State, [1865 

Ramanela. The Natal government was requested to send 
commissioners to meet Mr. Burnet, and to receive any cattle 
that he might succeed in obtaining. 

While these officers of the different governments were 
making their way to Thaba Bosigo, the old chief was 
dictating letters to Mr. Shepstone, at one time stating that 
his difficulty in sending the cattle was the presence of the 
Free State forces, and at another time that a drove was 
about to leave. 

Mr. Burnet arrived at Thaba Bosigo on the 2nd of 
November. He found the sub-chiefs of Southern Basuto- 
land willing to contribute towards making up the number 
of cattle demanded by the high commissioner, and at his 
request they collected about three thousand head. Moshesh 
himself gave nothing, and so far was he from being desirous 
of settling the matter that he actually selected the choicest 
cattle contributed by his vassals, and reserved them for 
himself. Mr. Burnet persuaded him to dictate an order to 
Molapo to punish Ramanela and to make up the deficiency 
of the cattle ; but when the commissioner proceeded to 
Leribe with the order, the old chief sent to his son counter- 
manding it. It was quite hopeless to expect anything like 
fair dealing from him, and Mr. Burnet came to the con- 
clusion that the only satisfactory plan would be to negotiate 
directly with Letsie and Molapo. 

These chiefs, like their father, were at this time entirely 
under the control of seers, diviners, and priests. Molapo 
was subject to fits of insanity, which the missionaries 
attributed to remorse for having abjured Christianity, but 
which Mr. Burnet attributed to over-indulgence in sensuality. 
They were both urgent to be taken under British protection. 
Their aims, however, were widely different. * Molapo ad- 
dressed himself to the government of Natal, and made no 
secret of his desire to be independent of his brother. Letsie 
addressed the high commissioner, and asked for protection 
in order that at his father's death he might remain the 
head of a tribe that must otherwise break into fragments. 

1 866] War ivith the Basuio. 261 

After more than a month's exertion Mr. Burnet believed 
that he bad got together between four and five thousand 
head of cattle. Messrs. Macfarlane and U^^s, the Natal com- 
missioners, had gone to Bloemfontein, and procured from 
the president a safe-conduct through Free State territory 
for the drove and one hundred Basuto herdsmen. Mr. 
Burnet then, having done all that he could, returned home 
and sent a full report of his proceedings to the high com- 
missioner. Instead, however, of between four and five 
thousand head reaching Natal, only two thousand one 
hundred and forty-one were delivered to Mr. Ayliff, the 
officer selected to distribute them, the others having been 
detained by Moshesh for his own use after Mr. Burnet's 

From the first the Natal officers were convinced that 
nothing but force would cause the Basuto chief to make 
restitution, and they would long since have employed force 
if the high commissioner had not restrained them. On the 
8th of January 1866 Sir Philip Wodehouse signed a document 
authorising the Natal government to send an armed expedi- 
tion into the Lesuto to compel payment of the full demand; 
but before the mail left Capetown he received a letter from 
the lieutenant - governor enclosing a report from Mr. Ayliff", 
in which that officer stated that the cattle already received 
would suffice to compensate those from whom stock had been 
stolen to the extent of fifty per cent, and leave a few oxen 
over. Immediately on reading this, the high commissioner, 
only too glad to avoid proceeding to hostilities, cancelled the 
permission he had given, on the ground that his demand 
must have been excessive. After this date there was some 
further correspondence, but nothing more was ever paid by 
the Basuto, nor was Ramanela ever punished for his raid 
into Natal. 

At the beginning of the year 1866 the Free State forces 
in the field were too weak to act on the offensive, and 
during the heat of midsummer it was impossible to increase 
them. The Basuto took advantage of this opportunity to 

262 History of the Orange Free State, [1866 

renew their inroads into the border districts. On the 8th 
of January the people of Molitsane made a sudden swoop 
upon the village of Winburg. They burned four houses in 
the outskirts, killed two Europeans and seven black herds- 
men whom they surprised on the commonage, and swept off 
all the cattle belonging to the place. Only thirty - three 
burghers could be mustered to go in pursuit, but this little 
band overtook the Bataung, shot three of them, and recovered 
all the stock except about a hundred horses. 

On the 22nd of January the village of Bethlehem was 
attacked by three or four thousand of Molapo's warriors. On 
the commonage they captured a burgher and a black servant, 
and murdered both. But there happened to be in Bethlehem 
at the time a patrol under Commandant De Villiers, of 
whose presence the Basuto were ignorant. The commandant 
speedily mustered one hundred and twenty - five burghers 
and one hundred and fifty Batlokua, and -with this puny 
force he drove back the assailants, followed them up some 
distance, and shot down more than two hundred of them. 

The high commissioner, seeing no probability of a speedy 
termination of this wretched condition of aflTairs, and fearing 
that disorder would increase in the Cape Colony on account 
of it, at this juncture — 20th of January 1866 — wrote to 
President Brand, tendering his services for the negotiation of 
an equitable peace. While the combatants were opposing 
their full strength to each other he had deemed it unadvis- 
able to interfere. In reply to a request of Moshesh that he 
would come and make peace, he had then written — 25th of 
September 1865 — that it was impracticable at that juncture 
to interpose between him and the Free State with propriety, 
or with any prospect of a good result to either party. But 
now to all outward appearances the republic was without an 
army and utterly helpless, while the Basuto seemed to be 
nothing better than a mob of cowards in the field and cut- 
throats when a victim could be secured. 

The high commissioner believed that peace could not be 
permanent while the Free State and the Lesuto were alike 

1 866] Wa^"- with the Basuto, 263 

independent of control. War would probably be renewed, 
he wrote, after the lapse of a few years, when one of the 
parties might think itself strong enough to attempt the 
destruction of its neighbour. To prevent this, he proposed 
to the secretary of state for the colonies — 13th of January 
1866 — that the Basuto, in accordance with the repeated 
requests of the chiefs, should be accepted as British subjects, 
and that an attempt should be made to govern them for 
their own good and for the common good of South Africa. 

But the ink on these despatches was hardly dry when 
the aspect of affairs was entirely changed. President Brand 
had been making most forcible appeals to his people, and 
largely owing to his exertions, in the beginning of February 
the burghers again took the field in force. On this occasion 
two thousand men mustered under arms, and were divided 
into four distinct columns, under General J. I. J. Fick, and 
Commandants Cornells de Villiers, Louis Wessels, and Pieter 
Wessels. Let it be remembered that if the same proportion 
of the population of the British islands were placed under 
arms in a foreign country, that army would muster two 
millions of men, and a good idea can be formed of the effort 
made by the Free State. 

On the 5th of February the volksraad met. The members 
unanimously placed on record their approval of the action of 
the president in declaring war, and carried by a large 
majority a resolution ratifying the annexation to the state 
of the territory within the lines proclaimed by Messrs. Fick 
and Wepener and subsequently by the president. On the 
7th a matter was brought forward which more than any- 
thing that preceded it damaged the Free State cause in the 
estimation of people in Europe. On that day numerous 
petitions were read, praying that the French missionaries 
should be expelled from the territory recently annexed. 

There were ten stations in that territory, and whether 
the missionaries remained or not, they could have no reason- 
able expectation that Basuto communities would be permitted 
to gather there again, if the Europeans could prevent it. A 

264 History of the Orange Free State, [1866 

powerful nation can afford to be magnanimous with a puny 
opponent ; but in a life or death struggle such as this, when 
the weaker combatant has been forced into war and 
conquers, prudence demands that every possible advantage 
be taken of the victory. The Free State would not have 
been acting as every nation in the world hag acted since 
the dawn of history if it had not tried permanently to 
weaken its enemy in the only way in which it could be 
done. As a measure of safety, the mission stations on 
territory wrested from the Basuto must therefore have been 
doomed. But this was not sufficient reason for driving the 
French clergymen from their homes. 

There was a general impression among the burghers that 
the missionaries acted as special pleaders for the Basuto, 
regardless altogether of the merits or demerits of their case, 
that they gave advice in military matters, that some of them 
took part in fighting, and that in consequence they were 
more hurtful as enemies than the Basuto themselves. 

No impartial person who thoroughly examines the evi- 
dence that their writings afford will be able to acquit the 
missionaries as a body of being special pleaders, though 
even in this respect there were several of them on whom no 
imputation can in justice be cast. No one with ordinary 
power of discrimination will take mission reports to be 
faithful representations of the whole life or actions of a 
people. At best they only represent the life of a small 
section of such a tribe as the Basuto as seen from a stand- 
point very limited in range of view. The burghers were 
unreasonably incensed when they read letters from mission- 
aries and reports in mission journals which pictured the 
Basuto as a very different people from what they knew 
them to be. They made no allowance for the position of 
the writers, nor regarded it as natural that their sympathy 
should be with the people among whom they lived and 
laboured. A single individual thrown among a mass of 
people of different sentiments usually comes to adopt their 
ideas. The action of the many minds affects the one 

i866] IVar zmth the Basuto. 265 

insensibly, unless the one is possessed of unusual in- 
dividuality. This is particularly observable in the lives of 
missionaries in secluded situations, who have studied the 
languages of their pupils and have striven to find out the 
meanings of quaint expressions and the powers of barbarian 
thought. It is not surprising that such men become the 
champions of those among whom their lot is cast, that they 
expatiate upon their virtues and fail to see their vices : it 
would rather be surprising if it were not so. 

To say that some of the missionaries acted injudiciously 
is only saying that they were men. That they gave advice 
in military matters is not proved, and as regards most of 
them is highly improbable. That they committed any overt 
act hostile to the Free State will not be believed or even 
suspected after a careful examination of all the evidence. 

The discussion upon the memorials by the volksraad 
shows extreme ignorance in most of the members of public 
opinion in Europe. That the expulsion of the missionaries 
would cause an outcry in England against the Free State 
was not taken into consideration. The members even sup- 
posed that their statements would refute those of the 
missionaries everywhere, without the slightest recognition of 
the fact that hardly a dozen people in all Europe would hear 
their version of the case, while the missionaries commanded 
the most complete means for publishing their side of the 
story that the world has ever known. 

The president spoke earnestly against any interference 
with men who had been trying to enlighten the heathen ; 
but the majority of the volksraad held with the memorial- 
ists, and a resolution was carried that as the missionaries 
had not confined themselves to their, calling but had taken 
part in political matters, and as their sympathy with the 
Basuto was in its operation detrimental to the Free State, 
all those in the annexed territory must remove before the 
1st of March, and those who should desire to remain in the 
Free State must take up their residence at such places as 
the executive council should point out. Whatever property 

266 History of the Orange F7xe State. [1866 

they could not remove was to be respected. They were to 
be obliged to bind themselves in writing to have no corre- 
spondence directly or indirectly with anj^ one in the Lesuto 
during -the war, to do or undertake nothing against the 
safety or the interests of the Free State, and to see that 
nothing was so done by their households. 

At the beginning of the war the Paris Evangelical Society 
had twelve principal stations, thirteen ordained clergymen, 
two medical missionaries, and two lay assistants. There 
were eighteen hundred church members, several thousands 
had been baptized, and the missionaries believed that about 
one-tenth of Moshesh's tribe was directly or indirectly under 
their influence. 

The missionaries who were expelled from the scenes of 
their former labour were Mr. Daumas, of Mekuatling, Mr. 
Coillard, of Leribe, Mr. Mabille, of Morija, Mr. Dyke and 
Dr. Casalis, of Hermon, Mr. Germond, of Thabana Morena, 
Mr. Maeder, of Siloe, Messrs. S. and E. Rolland, of Poortje, 
Mr. Cochet, of Hebron, and Messrs. Ellenberger and Gos- 
sellin, of Bethesda, with their families forty-six individuals 
in all. Mr. Keck was permitted to remain at Mabolela, 
though within the annexed territory. On account of the 
destruction of the mission buildings. Dr. Lautre and his 
family were at the same time compelled to abandon the 
station at Thaba Bosiofo, so that the French mission was 
for a time nearly broken up. Most of its members retired 
to Alivval North. 

A Roman Catholic mission had been established at Koro- 
koro shortly before the outbreak of the war, but was not 
aifected , by the resolution of the volksraad. The Roman 
Catholic missionaries indeed were never suspected by the 
burghers of interference in political matters, and were there- 
fore left unmolested. 

On the 21st of February the volksraad took into 
consideration the high commissioner's offer to act as a 
mediator, and after a lengthy discussion, on the 22nd the 
following resolution was adopted : 

1 866] lVa7^ ivith the BastUo. 267 

" The voiksraad instructs his Honour the state president to inform 
his Excellency that the government of this state has been compelled 
to wage the present war for the maintenance of violated rights, which 
had been recognised and accepted by the treaty of Aliwal North ; that 
the voiksraad, in the interests of religion, morality, and social progress, 
heartily desires the termination of the war, and eagerly longs for a 
peace which shall offer the guarantees of permanency i, that the 
voiksraad has learnt "wdth a feeling of gratitude the benevolent offer of 
mediation by his Excellency, but entertains the conviction, grounded 
on an experience of many years, that the Basuto will not respect the 
stipulations of any treaty of peace, unless they be forced to the accept- 
ance of such a treaty by the power of our arms, and unless they be 
driven to feel that the Free State is sufl&ciently powerful to cause the 
Basuto to perform the conditions of any treaty that may be concluded, 
and to compel them thereto, should need be, by force of arms ; that 
this government has determined, and the people of the state are 
willing, to undergo any amount of sacrifice, and to prosecute the war 
until such a desirable object shall have been attained ; for which 
reasons the voiksraad considers the present juncture as not favourable 
for such a mediation, and feels to be not yet in a position to avail 
itself of the benevolent offer of his Excellency." 

The next day was the twelfth anniversary of the state's 
independence. The members of the voiksraad met at ten 
in the morning, not to transact business, but to listen to 
addresses from the chairman, the president, Mr. J. J. Venter, 
and Advocate Hamelberg, upon the blessings received from 
the Almighty, the difficulties overcome by the republic 
during its existence, the duty of the burghers, and the 
patriotism displayed by those who — like Wepener — had lost 
their lives in the service of their country. All spoke with 
hope and confidence that the v>'ar would soon be brought to 
an end by the submission of the Basuto. At the close of 
the addresses, Advocate Hamelberg presented a poem, which 
was adopted as the national anthem of the state. It had 
been set to music by a gentleman named Nicolai, and was 
sung on this occasion by a choir composed of several of the 
best male voices of Bloemfontein and a large number of 

While the voiksraad was deliberating, the burghers in the 
field were not idle. On the 19th of February Commandant 

268 History of the Orange Free State, [1866 

De Villiers with two hundred men defeated two thousand of 
Molapo's and Ramanela's warriors, killed sixty of them, and 
wounded a great number. On the 21st Mr. F. Senekal, who 
had been commandant-general in the war of 1858, was 
killed while leading a patrol belonging to this force. 

On the 23rd of February the combined commandos of 
Messrs. Fick and De Yilliers, consisting of the Winburg, 
Harrismith, and Kroonstad burghers, five hundred and 
forty-six in number, with sixty-one blacks as scouts, left 
their camp near Leribe with the intention of scouring the 
Drakensberg. They spent that night on the bank of the 
Orange river where there was no fuel to be had, without 
other shelter than their blankets, though heavy rain was 
falling with occasional showers of hail. 

On the 24th they penetrated farther into the mountains, 
the rain still continuing with a cold north-west wind. On 
the 25th, 26th, and 27th they scoured the mountains, which 
rose in an endless succession of peaks and tables around 
them. They were over two thousand seven hundred and 
fifty metres or nine thousand feet above the level of the sea, 
and though the summer was not yet past and the heat on 
the plains from which they had come up was unpleasantly 
great, they were suffering severely'" from cold. A heavy mist 
filled, the ravines, and at night rain fell in drizzling showers. 
Some of the burghers had never felt such chilling air before, 
and as their clothing and blankets were wet and there was 
no fuel of any kind to be obtained, they were undergoing 
great discomfort. 

The 28th was a clear warm day. That night they spent 
on the very crown of the Drakensberg, where on one side 
the rich grasslands of Natal lay at a vast depth beneath 
them, and on the other side they could look down on a sea 
of cloud, vand mist covering the rugged belt of desolation 
which they had just passed through. They were above the 
rain and hail from which they Iiad suffered so much, and 
on the mountain top they passed the night in excellent 
spirits, though they were weary and the air was cold. 

1 866] War with the Bastdo, 269 

At four in the morning of the 1st of March the bur^^hers 
left their elevated sleepinp^ place, and before noon they were 
again in the belt of rain and hail. On the 2nd while 
passing through a gorge under Thaba Patsoa their advance 
guard was attacked by about two thousand Basuto, whose 
chief object was to recover the droves of cattle which were 
being driven on behind. The Basuto, however, ^ were 
speedily put to flight. In the afternoon the burghers 
reached the camp which they had left eight days before, 
without having lost one of their number or having one 
wounded. They brought in one hundred and eighty-four 
horses, two thousand seven hundred and twenty-two head 
of horned cattle, and three thousand five hundred sheep ; 
and they liad counted thirty bodies of Basuto whom they 
had killed. 

This expedition brought Molapo to treat for peace. On 
the 4th of March two Basuto carr^ang a white flag came 
into General Fick's camp with a letter from that chief, in 
which he asked on what terms peace would be granted to 
himself and to the whole tribe. General Fick replied, 
referring him to the president. The messenger returned 
speedily with another letter, in which Molapo stated that he 
wished to conclude peace for himself independently of the 
remainder of the tribe. General Fick then offered an 
armistice of eight days, to give time to communicate with 
the president, on condition of one hundred and fifty 
slaughter oxen being furnished as provision for the 
commando. The chief replied, asking for a personal con- 
ference with the general halfway between the camp and 
his stronghold ; but when on the morning of the 6th the 
general with twenty-five burghers went to the appointed 
place he was told that Molapo's captains were unwilling 
that he should venture away from the mountain. -• They 
requested that an officer might be sent to confer with him. 
Adjutant A. van den Bosch with only a black interpreter 
then went up into Molapo's retreat, which he found to be 
a natural stronghold so well fortified as to be impregnable 

2/0 History of the Orange Free State. [1866 

if held by men of courage. The chief agreed to the terms 
of the armistice, and the adjutant went back to the camp, 
taking with him Joel, Molapo's second son, as a hostage 
for the delivery of the cattle and for his father's good 

The camp of Commandant Louis Wessels was at this time 
at Berea. Molapo had requested that he might be per- 
mitted to communicate with his father, and General Fick 
agreed to send his messengers to the camp at Berea at the 
same time that the despatches were forwarded to Bloem- 
fontein. Commandant Wessels conducted the messengers to 
the foot of Thaba Bosigo, and a few hours afterwards they 
returned to his camp with Moshesh's son Sophonia, who 
asked if his father could not be included in the armistice 
granted by General Fick to Molapo. The commandant 
replied that if Mosbesh would make written proposals he 
would take them into consideration. Moshesh then wrote 
that he wished to make peace on equal terms, to which he 
received for answer that if he desired to communicate with 
the president the commandant would agree to an armistice 
on condition of being supplied with one hundred slaughter 
cattle. The old chief tried to haggle, by sending down a 
drove of sixty-six cows and calves, but ultimately he com- 
plied with the terms proposed. 

Letsie, on being informed of what was taking place else- 
w4iere, also made overtures for an armistice, which Com- 
mandant Pieter Wessels granted upon payment of fifty 
slaughter oxen. 

There ,was thus a general suspension of hostilities, which 
was only disturbed by a raid of the Bataung on Winburg 
commonage on the 5th of March, when they succeeded in 
driving off some stock ; and a second raid by the same 
people in another direction five days later, when they were 
met by a party of burghers and driven back with a loss of 
nineteen killed. 

The president was detained at Bloemfontein by business 
that could not be neglected, but the truce was prolonged 

1 866] War with the Basuto. 271 

until he could get away. On the 21st of March he and the 
unofficial members of the executive council arrived at Com- 
mandant Louis Wessels' camp close to Thaba Bosigo. 
Moshesh was communicated with, but as he declined to 
make peace on any other than equal terras, the krmistice 
with him was declared to be at an end. Letsie took up the 
same position as his father, in consequence of which hosti- 
lities were resumed on the 22nd, when a patrol was sent to 
scour Mohali's Hoek, and the cattle of the two southern 
commandos were turned into the cornfields of Letsie and 
Makwai to destroy them. Nehemiah, however, sought an 
interview with the president, stated his intention of aban- 
doning the cause of his father and brother, and requested 
that he and his people should be received as Free State 
subjects. After a little consideration by the executive 
council, his request was acceded to, but his following 
was too small to make his pretended defection a matter of 
any importance. 

The president and the three members of the executive 
council then proceeded to Imparani, where General Fick 
was encamped. By previous arrangement, on the morning 
of the 26th of March Molapo with all his counsellors and 
sub-chiefs arrived at the ford of the Caledon close to 
Imparani, where some tents had been pitched for their 
accommodation. There, immediately afterwards, a conference 
took place, which ended in a treaty between the Free 
State and Molapo. 

Molapo agreed to the annexation to the Free State of all 
the land up to the Putiatsana, and promised to remove his 
people from that portion of it on the north and west of 
the Caledon. He undertook to pay two thousand head of 
large cattle, to abstain from assisting the other Basuto, and 
to give one of his sons and one of his sub-chiefs as hostages 
for his good conduct. He agreed to become a vassal of the 
Free State, retaining the district between the Caledon, the 
Putiatsana, and the Drakensberg, as a reserve in which to 
live ; and he promised to obey any orders issued by the 

272 Histoiy of the Orange Free State, [1866 

president through a Free State officer who should be 
stationed with him. 

A formal treaty to this effect was drawn up and signed 
by the president and by Molapo, his son Jonathan, and his 
counsellors,' and was witnessed by the members of the 
executive council and the four officers of highest rank in the 
Free State camp. It is known as the treaty of Imparani. 
As soon as it was concluded Molapo paid the greater number 
of the cattle, and gave the stipulated hostages for his good 

On the 29th of March a patrol of sixteen burghers and 
one hundred and fifty Batlokua, under command of Mr. 
Hendrik Oostewald Dreyer, having captured a large number 
of cattle in Witsi's Hoek, was returning with the spoil, 
when it was attacked about thirty-two kilometres or twenty 
miles from Harrismith. Mr. Dreyer and another burgher 
were killed, and some of the stock was retaken. Mr. Dreyer, 
who held the office of chairman of the volksraad, was a 
man of considerable attainments. A South African by birth, 
he had travelled in foreign lands, and spent some years 
in Australia. His body was found pierced with twenty-one 
assagai stabs. 

About the same time an express carrying letters from 
the Cape Colony to Bloemfontein fell into the hands of a party 
of Basuto. It consisted of three burghers, two half-breeds, 
and two Barolong, all of whom were murdered in cold blood. 
Their bodies, shockingly mutilated, were found a few days 

On the last day of March a meeting of the sub-chiefs of 
Basutoland, convened by Moshesh, took place at Thaba 
Bosigo. The defection of Molapo, whether genuine or 
feigned, weakened the Basuto power seriously for the time 
being. The crops, which were now ready for harvesting, 
were being destroyed by the burghers. All of the sub- 
chiefs were therefore of opinion that if peace could be made 
in such a way that they could preserve their strength unim- 
paired until the crops were gathered and then be able to 

1 866] War with the Basttto, 273 

resume hostilities at pleasure, it v/ould be advisable for 
Moshesh to conclude it. The great chief thereupon wrote 
to the president making overtures for peace, and offering as 
a basis of negotiations to agree to the boundary line pro- 
claimed by Messrs. Fick and Wepener and ratified by the 
volksraad. The president consented to negotiate on this 
basis, in the vain hope that he would be able to plant 
without any delay such a strong body of Europeans upon the 
land thus acquired tha^t the predominance of the Free State 
would be in future undisputed and peace for ever be 

On the 3rd of April a conference took place between 
Thaba Bosigo and the camp of Commandant Louis Wessels. 
Moshesh himself was ill and unable to descend the mountain, 
but he gave full power to his brother Moperi and his son 
Nehemiah to act for him. The terms agreed to were, that 
the future boundary between the Free State and the Lesuto 
should be a line running direct from Bamboesplaats near 
Pampoenspruit to a point — Thaba Tele — three miles (48 
kilometres) east of Letsie's new town — Matsieng, — thence a 
straight line due north — by compass — to the Caledon, thence 
the Caledon to the junction of the Putiatsana, and thence 
the Putiatsana to its source ; that Moshesh should cause all 
his subjects immediately to withdraw from the territory 
beyond the new boundary, failing which the Free State 
should be at liberty to expel them by force; that Molapo 
and his people should be Free State subjects ; that Moshesh 
should pay three thousand head of large cattle to the Free 
State; that Moshesh should in future deliver up refugee 
criminals on warrants from Free State ofiicials ; and that 
Moroko should be included in the treaty as an ally of the 
Free State. 

The above conditions, and a fev/ others of minor import- 
ance, having been embodied in a formal treaty, the document 
was signed in duplicate by the president and Moshesh's 
delegates. It was then sent up the mountain, where it 
received the mark and seal of Moshesh, the signatures of 


274 History of the Orange Free State. [1866 

Masupha, Sophonia, and several other sons of the chief, 
and the mark of PoshuH. Subsequently it was sent to 
Letsie, and received his mark. It was also signed by the 
unofficial members of the executive council of the Free 
State, by the principal officers in the Free State camp, 
and by Moroko's adopted son Tsepinare. 

The burghers in the cam-p manifested the greatest joy 
when peace was concluded and they could return to their 
famihes,. no one foreseeing that within twelve months it 
would prove to be the greatest mistake that could be made 
by the Free State. The night following was one of festivity 
in the camp. At nine o'clock in the morning of the 4th the 
president mounted a waggon round which the whole com- 
mando was assembled. Baring his head, he requested the 
burghers to join in thanks to God, then he read the treaty, 
after which the whole assembly sang the hundredth psalm. 
And never in grand cathedral has the Te Deum been chanted 
with greater sincerity than that psalm of praise to God was 
sung under the open vault of heaven when the burghers 
assembled in the camp believed that peace was secured by 
the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. 

The whole adult male population of the state having 
been engaged in the war, agriculture had almost ceased to 
be carried on, even in the districts farthest from the 
Basuto border. Horned cattle and sheep had also diminished 
in number, for those taken from the enemy were far from 
compensating for those swept off by the invading bands. 
In such war as that the burghers had been engaged in there 
is always great waste of live stock, many sheep perish from 
being driven too rapidly from one locality to another, oxen 
and cows are killed for food when perhaps only a small 
portion of the flesh is consumed, and horses are overridden 
and die of hunger. On the farms the absence of the men 
caused cattlebreeding to be thrown back, though the women 
managed to keep things going fairly well. In the districts 
where the houses and all their contents had been burnt, 
where absolutely nothing but the ground had been left, 

i866] Condition after the Declaration of Peace. 275 

there was of course extreme poverty ; but those farther away 
who escaped such calamity were ready to assist the sufferers. 
There were no cases of actual death from destitution and hunger, 
thougfi no doubt the misery they were obliged to endure added 
to mental suffering hastened the end of many. 

But the dark time was believed to be over now, and hope 
for the future took the place of despondency in the present. 
South Africa is the most wonderfully elastic country 
in the world. After a long drought a good fall of 
rain causes every one to be cheerful, and after a war in 
which many lives have been lost and much property has been 
destroyed, a prospect of lasting peace sets every one at 
work to repair the damage and try to make things better 
than before. There was unfeigned grief for those who had 
fallen, among whom were some of the very best men in the 
state, whose loss would not soon be replaced ; but there 
was no needless wailing over the destruction of property, 
which industry and care would recover. Those men and 
women little dreamed then that the darkest time was still 
to come, that the great barbarian power which had over- 
shadowed them so long had not in very deed been over- 
thrown, but was only gathering fresh strength for a renewal 
of the contest, and that a few short months would see them 
involved again in a life or death struggle, which would tax 
their energies to the very utmost. 



MARCH 1868. 

A FEW weeks after the treaty of Thaba Bosi^o was signed, 
the volksraad met and decided what measures to adopt to 
prevent the peace being broken again. First it was 
necessary to strengthen the European population. A 
portion of the territory taken from Moshesh would be 
required as locations for such Basuto as could with safety 
be permitted to remain there as subjects of the Free State, 
but it was determined to dispose of the larger part as farms 
to be held under condition of personal occupation. The 
same course, in short, was to be followed as had been 
introduced by Sir George Cathcart with marked success in 
the colonial districts of Queenstown and Victoria East, and 
had been adopted by Sir George Grey when settling British 

Next came provision for the control of the Basuto who 
had become subiects of the Free State. On the 23rd of 
May 1866 an ordinance was promulgated for the manage- 
ment of Molapo's clan, the principal clauses of which were 
to the following effect : The district occupied by the clan, 
bounded by the Caledon, the Putiatsana, and the Drakens- 
berg, was constituted a reserve, in which no white man 
could settle without special permission from the president 
and the executive council, and this permission could only 
be given to persons whose occupations were defined. No 
licenses for the sale of spirituous liquors within the reserve 
could be granted. A European officer with the title of com- 
mandant, but with the power of a landdrost, was to be 


i866] Financial Condition of the Country, 277 

stationed in the reserve, and was to have jurisdiction there. 
Criminal cases involving the penalty of death were to be 
submitted to the attorney-general of the state for instruc- 
tions. Molapo and his counsellors were to retain- jurisdiction 
in civil cases, but the parties interested were to have a 
right of appeal to the commandant. A hut tax of ten 
shillings a year was to be paid by all except the principal 
captains. The Dutch Reformed church was to have the 
right of stationing a missionary with the people. The 
president with the advice of the executive council was 
empowered to make regulations for the guidance of the 

Owing to the war, the treasury of the republic was in 
such a condition that extraordinary means were necessary to 
replenish it. A large proportion of the burghers were quite 
unable to pay the taxes, and there were outstanding debts 
for ammunition to be met in addition to the ordinary 
expenditure. In February the volksraad authorised the 
president to contract a loan of £80,000 for three years at 
eight per cent interest per annum, but no one could be 
found willing to advance the money, as the prospects of 
the country seemed to strangers very dark indeed. 

On the 11th of June 1866 the volksraad, as the only 
resource, resolved to issue notes to the amount of £100,000, 
and to declare them a legal tender. Of this sum, £57,000 
was to be lent to burghers on mortgage of landed property, 
at a yearly interest of six per cent. Each district was to 
have an equal share of the loan, and no individual could 
borrow more than £500. No portion of this sum was to be 
redeemed for five years, but after that term it was to be 
paid off at the rate of £10,000 annually. The mortgages 
were to be made out in accordance with this provision. By 
this means it was hoped that many persons would be able 
to commence farming operations again, that the treasury 
would be enriched by more than £3,000 a year, and that 
the want of a circulating medium . would be to some extent 

278 History of the Oi^ange Free State. [1866 

The remainder of the issue, or £43,000, was intended to 
meet the existing liabilities of the country. The public 
lands were pledged as security that the notes would be paid, 
and the interest received from the other portion of the issue, 
as it came in, was to be devoted to the reduction of the 

The notes thus put in circulation served the purposes for 
which they were intended, though the members of the volks- 
raad and everyone else admitted that such a measure was 
only justifiable under the adverse circumstances in which the 
country was then placed. Though a legal tender, they never 
were equal in value to metal coin, and the rate of exchange 
against them was subject to great fluctuations. As they 
were valueless in the British colonies, a large portion of the 
trade of the country was thereafter carried on by means 
of barter. 

The high commissioner, on learning the conditions of the 
treaties of Imparani and Thaba Bosigo, lost no time in 
writing to the president expressing his disapproval of them. 
In his view, the country left to the Basuto was too small. 
If it had been impossible to prevent them pressing on the 
farmers before, how would it be now that they were rolled 
back within the new boundaries ? His Excellency did not 
consider that one of the main objects which the Free State 
had in view was to compel a considerable number of the 
Basuto to disperse to other locations which would be pro- 
vided for them, and so to weaken the power of Moshesh. 
Further, Sir Philip Wodehouse did not approve of the 
separation of Molapo's clan from the rest of the tribe. As 
this chief was now a Free State subject, his Excellency held 
that the Free State was responsible for his share of the 
cattle still due to Natal, and requested the president to 
require him to furnish seven hundred head. The corre- 
spondence on this subject, however, had no other result than 
to deepen the impression of the Free State people that all 
Sir Philip Wodehouse's sympathy was against them and with 
the Basuto, 

t866] Condttct of the Basuto. 279 

The treaties were hardly signed when Moshesh and Letsie 
renewed their efforts to obtain British protection, in the 
supposition that if Great Britain could be induced to take 
them over, the boundaries defined by Sir George Grey and 
Sir Philip Wodehouse would be restored. To this effect 
Letsie wrote to the hi^h commissioner on the 11th of May, 
and when this did not succeed, a deputation consisting 
of Moperi, Tsekelo, and some others of less note, was sent 
by Moshesh to the lieutenant-governor of Natal, with the 
same object. This mission led to a good deal of correspond- 
ence between the imperial and colonial governments and the 
chiefs, but had no result. On the 9th of March Mr. Cardwell, 
then secretary of state for the colonies, had written to Sir 
Philip Wodehouse that " the extension of British rule in 
South Africa was a matter too serious in its bearings to be 
entertained by Her Majesty's government without some over- 
ruling necessity," and that he was " not prepared to authorise 
compliance with the request of the Basuto chiefs that their 
country might be taken under the immediate authority of 
the Queen." And on the 25th of July, Lord Carnarvon, who 
succeeded Mr. Cardwell, withdrew even the authority granted 
by his predecessor for the appointment of a resident diplo- 
matic agent with the Basuto chief, and stated his view that 
"connection with the tribe should be limited to a friendly 
mediation, such as could lead to no closer or entangling 

Letsie, Moperi, and Molitsane then turned to the Free 
State government and expressed a strong desire to become its 
subjects. Long afterwards Letsie stated that his sole object 
in doing so was to gain time, and that he never had any 
intention of submitting in earnest to the republic. The 
language he used, however, was similar to that employed 
when addressing the high commissioner with the same 
object. The reply he received was that he must first prove 
himself worthy of becoming a subject, and then his request 
would be taken into consideration; but that before anything 
could be done in that direction the cattle due to Natal must 

28o History of the Oi^ange Free State. [1866 

be paid, to prevent the bigh commissioner holding the Free 
State responsible. In the meantime he had permission to 
remain where he was until his crops should be reaped. In 
December'Letsie for the second time sent his son Lerothodi 
to Bloemfontein to urge that he might be taken over, but to 
no purpose. 

Molitsane had permission to remain on the northern side 
of the Caledon until a suitable location could be found for 
him. He was informed that if the future owners of the 
farms chose to allow small parties of his people to continue 
their residence where they were, the government would not 
object as long as they behaved themselves. They therefore 
gathered their crops, and when the season for sowing came 
round again, put more ground under cultivation than they 
had ever done before. This leniency on the part of the 
Free State, after so much experience of the folly of treating 
people like the Bataung with a gentleness which they could 
not understand, was afterwards condemned as a mistake by 
even the strongest partisans of the Basuto. It was an in- 
direct encouragement, they said, to Moshesh's tribe to believe 
that the ground was still theirs. 

Moperi was treated in the same manner. This chief was 
recognised by everyone as the least untrustworthy of all the 
heads of clans in the Lesuto. His language was so guarded 
and his behaviour in presence of Europeans was marked 
by such propriety that he had the reputation of being the 
most sensible and civilised man in his tribe. Though a 
brother of Moshesh, his position was not a fortunate one. 
His nephews regarded him with great jealousy. Hemmed 
in by Molapo, Masupha, and Molitsane, the tract of land 
occupied by his clan was very small and was constantly 
being encroached upon. Knowing his circumstances, the 
Free State would have accepted him as a subject at once, if 
it had not been for the high commissioner's view of 
responsibility for the cattle due to Natal. 

The event which attracted most attention at this time 
both in South Africa and in Europe was not, however, th@ 

i866] Treatment of the French Missionaries. 281 

condition or the prospects of either of the late belligerents, 
but the treatment to which the French missionaries had 
been subjected. In England a great outcry was raised 
against the Free State. The directors in Paris not only 
wrote, but sent a deputation to the authorities of the 
colonial department in London, on the subject. Pens were 
busy ail over the United Kingdom describing the expulsion 
of the missionaries as the greatest outrage of modern times. 
By all the writers the act was termed a suppression of 
mission work and a destruction of mission stations. There 
seemed to be but one view of the matter : that the request 
of the Paris directors ought to be complied with, the 
missionaries be permitted to return to their stations, their 
personal losses be made good to them, and their converts 
and all who were desirous of Christian instruction be allowed 
to gather round them and profit by their teaching once 

A slight examination of the matter will show how impru- 
dent it would have been for the Free State to have followed 
such a course. It would have been equivalent to giving up 
all the fruits of victory, for it would have restored the 
Basuto tribe to the position it held before the war. Every 
Mosuto in the territory would have professed a desire for 
Christian instruction, and there would have been no land 
on which a European population could have been located 
in safety. At first sight it seems a pitiless proceeding to 
remove the conquered people of a district, but in reality it 
entails very little hardship upon a Bantu clan. They shift 
about from place to place with the greatest ease, the trifling 
labour of building new huts being almost the only incon- 
venience to which a change of residence subjects them. It 
was a matter of necessity to the very existence of the Free 
State that the people of the mission stations in the annexed 
territory should be located somewhere else. The stations 
were broken up, not out of antipathy to the propagation 
of Christianity, but because the enemies of the Free State 
could not safely be allowed to assemble there. 


History of the Orange Free State. [1866 

The members of the volksraad deliberated on this matter 
in utter unconcern of the feelings roused against them 
beyond the shores of South Africa. They appointed a 
commission to take evidence upon the conduct of the 
missionaries. When this commission reported that no 
charges of having taken part in hostilities could be proved 
against the expelled clergymen, they decided that no com- 
pensation should be made for their personal losses, on the 
ground of the enmity displayed in such of their letters 
as had been made public. The Paris Evangelical Society 
was recognised as owner of the buildings on the stations, 
and in order to give these buildings value, a tract of land 
fifteen hundred morgen in extent, surrounding each of the 
stations, was assigned to the society, which it might use as 
a farm or dispose of at its option, the only charge made 
therefor being a sum of £100 on each grant. 

The Wesleyan society was treated in the same manner. 
When Moshesh, during the Sovereignty period, overran the 
reserves allotted to Sikonyela and other captains, and an- 
nexed the ground to the Lesuto, the Wesleyans withdrew 
from the stations Imparani, Merumetsu, Umpulrani, and 
Lishuane, retaining between the Orange and the Vaal only 
Platberg and Thaba Ntshu. The ground on which all these 
stations were situated, except Thaba Ntshu, had now be- 
come part of the Free State. The society requested the 
volksraad to recognise its right to the land it had once occu- 
pied, and was informed in reply that it would receive a title 
to fifteen hundred morgen around Platberg, and the same 
extent of ground at any or all of the other places named 
upon which mission buildings were still standing. 

After 1866 the labours of the Wesleyans in this part of 
South Africa were confined to Thaba Ntshu. Nor were 
they left alone even in that field, for in May 1865 a mis- 
sionary of the church of England had gone to reside there, 
on the invitation of Samuel Moroko, a son of the old chief. 
Samuel had spent some time at one of the church schools 
in England, and upon his return commenced cfibrts to 

1 866] Treatment of the French Missionaries, 283 

supplant Tsepinare, the recognised heir to the rulership of 
the clan. He succeeded in obtaining a number of adherents, 
and thenceforth the Barolong clan of Moroko was divided 
into two factions, quarrelling about a form of Christianity 
and a choice of a future ruler. With these internal dis- 
sensions the Free State government did not interfere, as the 
friendly chief Moroko was regarded and treated as inde- 
pendent. A treaty of alliance with him had been concluded 
by the president in March 1865, and was confirmed by the 
volksraad on the 21st of February 1866. 

The board of directors of the Paris society rejected the 
grants of land offered by the volksraad, assigning as reasons 
that its missionaries were not farmers, and that to dispose 
of the ground by sale would destroy their influence with 
the people they were desirous of teaching. That was saying 
in other words that the Basuto hoped still to recover the 
ground, and that the missionaries could not be parties to 
any transaction in which the right of the Free State to 
it was recognised. These sentiments may be considered 
natural, even praiseworthy, by mission societies ; but where 
is the nation in Europe that would award compensation for 
any losses whatever suffered in war by persons making such 
admissions ? Where is the belligerent that would hesitate 
a single instant in expelling from its territories, or even 
treating in a much harsher manner, men who make such 
avowals ? Let anyone read the published letters of some 
of these missionaries, and note how persistently Free State 
authority was ignored and the ceded territory spoken of as 
part of the Lesuto. Let suc'h a one then inquire what 
would have happened to an Italian monk writing similar 
letters in Alsace just at the close of the Franco-German 
war, repudiating and denouncing the German authorities, or 
to a Greek priest in Calcutta at the time of the Indian 
mutiny, repudiating and abusing the British crown. The 
cases are identical in principle. 

The expulsion of the French missionaries was not incon- 
sistent with the admission by the burghers of the Free 

284 History of the Orange Free State. [1866 

State, as indeed by everyone in South Africa who is ac- 
quainted with them and their work, that the unfortunate 
clergymen were earnest, true, and faithful ministers of the 
Gospel, that they led irreproacha-ble lives, that their zeal 
and devotion to duty were unbounded, that they exercised 
the greatest possible hospitality and kindness to strangers, 
that in education and refinement they were not excelled by 
the agents of any other society working in South Africa, 
and that their teaching had been blessed with a large amount 
of success. But most of them took the adverse side in 
national questions, and that so undisguisedly as to render 
themselves liable to the treatment they received, even had 
it not been a matter of urgent necessity to prevent Basuto 
communities from establishin^y themselves ao^ain on the sites 
of the former mission stations. 

Three rows of farms adjoining the new boundary were 
offered by the volksraad to occupiers under military tenure. 
From the list of applicants who sent in their names the 
most suitable were selected, but several delays occurred, and 
this ground was not actually given out until the 15th of 
January 1867. Before this time a large part of the re- 
maining land had been sold by public auction, and it was 
intended that the purchasers should take possession of it 
on the same date. Nine months had now elapsed since the 
cessation of hostilities, however, and during that period a 
great many Basuto squatters had gone in and made gardens. 
Due notice of the allotment of the farms was given to 
Moshesh, who was requested to withdraw his subjects in 
accordance with the second clause of the treaty of Thaba 
Bosigo, but instead of doing this he sent strong parties of 
warriors into the district. 

The bishop of the English church in the Free State pur- 
chased one of the farms with a view of establishing a 
mission, and then went to see Moshesh, who told him 
candidly that he would not allow it. A widow who had 
received a grant of ground went to the great chief to ask if 
it would be safe to occupy it, when he told her it would not 

1S67] Reviewed of War ivith the Basuto. 2^35 

be. But there is no need of evidence as to what Moshesh's 
intentions were, or as to who was to blame for what 
followed, since on the 18th of March 1867 the old chief 
wrote distinctly to the high commissioner that he did not 
mean -to give up the territory. Great quantities of grain 
were stored on Tbaba Bosigo, the Kieme, Tandjesberg, and 
Makwai's mountain, all of which were strongly fortified and 
garrisoned. It was evident to the Europeans that as soon 
as they were settled a raid would be made upon them, so 
they hastily retired. 

The president then called out an armed burgher force to 
expel the Basuto from the ceded territory, but gave notice 
to Moshesh that he need be under no apprehension of an 
attack, for there was no intention of sendingr the commandos 
beyond the boundary. The burgher forces were formed into 
two divisions, under Chief-Commandants J. I. J. Fick and 
J. G. Pansegrouw, the first of whom was to conduct 
operations north of the Caledon, and the last between the 
Caledon and the Orange. On the twelfth of March 1867 
the two commandos entered the ceded territory. 

The crops were at the time almost fit for gathering, and 
it was an object of the utmost importance with the Basuto 
to preserve the grain. During the previous winter some 
sections of the tribe had sufifered greatly from hunger, 
though other sections were able to store large quantities of 
food. It is one of the anomalies of barbarian life that 
hospitality, which is unlimited towards equals, is not 
extended towards inferiors. During the winter of 1866 there 
were chiefs in the Lesuto with abundance of grain, while 
at no great distance from them common people were literally 
dying of want, and others were kept alive by the charity 
of Sir Philip Wodehouse, for whom some of the French 
missionaries acted as almoners. What remained of the crop 
of 1866 was now stored in a few mountain fastnesses, and 
upon the crop of 1867 the people were depending. 

The commando under Fick commenced operations in the 
neighbourhood of Viervoet by destroying some of the 

286 History of the Orange Free State. [1867 

cornfields, and a little later Pansegrouw's division be^an 
to do the same. In several places parties of burghers 
met with resistance, but no pitched battle took place. A 
few sconces in mountains were taken by storm, and on one of 
these occasions two Bushmen who had fired poisoned arrows 
upon the burghers and who were made prisoners were after- 
wards shot by some miscreant in cold blood. Thereupon 
several members of the commando demanded an investigation 
and the punishment of the assassin, but the general feeling 
of exasperation against the Bushmen was so strong that the 
evidence obtainable merely served to prove that the oflacers 
had given no orders for the perpetration of the crime. 

The details of the skirmishing, disarming of little bands 
of Basuto, destruction of sconces, and cutting down maize 
and millet, would be neither interesting nor instructive. 
The only event that calls for special remark has been 
narrated. The one object of the Basuto chiefs was to save 
the crops in the ceded territory. To gain that, their plan 
was not to take the field, but to profess the most abject 
submission, and to entreat to be taken over as subjects and 
given ground on which to live. On the 8th of May the 
volksraad met, and on the 10th in mistaken pity yielded. 
The suppliants were informed that they could make arrange- 
ments to gather the crops with the purchasers of the 
ground, and a few days later they were received as subjects, 
and the commandos were withdrawn. 

Letsie was the first to be taken over. The great diffi- 
culty in his case before had been the Natal debt, and to get 
over this he informed the volksraad that the Natal govern- 
ment had consented to give him credit for seven years. 
When making^ this statement he knew that the falsehood 
must be detected in a few weeks, but in those few weeks he 
could complete the storing of his corn, and to be convicted 
of an untruth had no terror for him. He was not required 
to move. The district in which he had always lived was 
assigned to him as a location, and he was thus left with 
nothing but a nominal line between his people and the other 

1867] Reception of Basuto as Subjects. ^Sy 

Basuto. The regulations provided for Molapo's clan were 
made applicable to him. There were special clonuses in the 
document which he signed when he became a Free State 
subject, making him responsible for any share of the Natal 
debt which should be claimed from him. With Letsie were 
received a great number of petty chiefs, who professed to be 
his vassals, the most important of whom were Poshuli and 
Makwai. The last named was then residing on a strongly 
fortified mountain, but Letsie engaged that he should 
remove from it within a month. 

The arrangements for the establishment of the new 
reserve were completed on the 22nd of May. The only 
guarantee of good faith which the government of the Free 
State demanded was that Letsie should send one of his 
sons and one of his counsellors to Bloemfontein, to remain 
there as hostages, and this he undertook to comply with, 
apparently most cordially. But the hostages sent were in 
reality men of no rank, and when the object of their chief 
had been attained, one night they quietly decamped from 

On the 1st of June Mopen was received in the same 
manner. A tract of land in Witsi's Hoek was selected as a 
location for him, with the object of separating his clan from 
the other Basuto. He was informed that he must move as 
soon as his crops were harvested, with which intimation he 
expressed himself satisfied. 

With regard to Molitsane, the volksraad empowered the 
president to purchase a block of farms in the district of 
Kroonstad, and to locate the Bataung there, so as to re- 
move this restless clan into open ground where it would 
have less power to do mischief. 

On learning that these clans had been received as subjects 
of the Free State, the high commissioner at once informed 
the president that in his opinion the republic had also 
accepted their liabilities. He observed furtlier that " these 
large acquisitions of territory and population tended to 
produce such important changes in the political position of 

288 History of the Orange Free State, [1867 

the several powers in this part of Africa as would fully 
warrant a claim on the part of the British government, 
should necessity arise, of a rip^ht to reconsider the bearings 
of the convention entered into with the Orange Free State 
on the 2ord of February 1854." When this letter was made 
public many citizens of the Free State expressed the belief 
that they had a more relentless opponent even than old 
Moshesh. When territory was annexed, the high com- 
missioner expressed an opinion that too much land was 
taken from the Basuto ; when that was met by the adoption 
as subjects of the greater number of the people who had 
been living on the annexed ground and by the provision of 
locations elsewhere for them, he still showed no satisfaction. 
Did he then desire, they asked each other, that the Basuto 
power, which had given Great Britain as well as their 
republic so much trouble, should remain intact, and they for 
ever be exposed to its violence ? 

The great want of the Free State at this time was a 
strong police force, but there was no money to pay one 
with. In February 1865 the volksraad voted £20,000 for 
this purpose, but owing to the war the revenue fell off so 
much that the plan could not be carried into effect. In 
May 1867 the matter was discussed again, and if it had 
been possible the volksraad would then have made provision 
for the enrolment of a strong force, as its urgent need was 
recognised. The majority of the members, however, saw no 
means of increasing the revenue, and the project was 
therefore abandoned. 

The crops were harvested and stored in caverns in the 
mountains, and then the tone of the late suppliants under- 
went a sudden change. Moshesh denied all knowledge of 
the cession of la.nd by the treaty of Thaba Bosigof and 
publicly announced that he would not allow Europeans to 
settle on it. The Basuto there were instructed not to move, 
and were informed that if they were attacked help would 
be sent to them. Masupha with an armed band commenced 
to plunder far and near. Letsie refused to receive the com- 

1 86;] Murders by Basuto. 289 

mandanfc appointed to reside with him, or to remove Makwai 
as he had promised. All disguise was at ouce cast 
aside, and Moshesh's tribe was seen to be in perfect readiness 
for war. 

In the middle of June an English itinerant trader named 
Bush was plundered of all his goods and then murdered by 
order of a grandson of Molitsane, close to Mekuatling, and 
consequently on Free State soil. Bush was one of the rene- 
gades who assisted Moshesh during the recent v/ar, but he 
had since returned to civilised habits, and the Bataung 
looked upon him now as a traitor to them. On this account 
he had been strongl}^ advised not to place himself again in 
their power, but with foolhardiness he had rushed on hia 
fate. The murderer fled to Moshesh. The president wrote 
on the 26th of June demanding his extradition under the 
sixth clause of the treaty, and received au answer, dated 
the 9th of July, w^hich was to all intents a declaration of 
war. In the most impudent, untruthful, and irritating 
language, Moshesh asserted that he had ceded no territory, 
that the district in which Bush w^iS murdered was still part 
of the Lesuto, and that white men had no right to live 
there without his permission. " Let the Boers know," he 
added, "that they must remain where they are, in the Free 
State ; there is no other way to keep up peace." This letter, 
which was in the English language, bore the signature and 
seal of Moshesh, and purported to have been written by 
Nehemiah, but there are clear indications of the presence 
of a European when it was drafted. 

Before this letter was received, on the 12th of July 
tidings reached Bloemfontein that a band of about two 
hundred Bataung under the sons of Molitsane had appeared 
on the farm of a young man named Jacobus Krynauw, in 
the ceded territory, and had murdered the owner of the 
place in cold blood. A farmer named Abraham van der 
Walt, with his wife and three children, happened to be on 
a visit at Krynauw's at the time. Van der Walt was very 
severely wounded, but he managed to kill two of his assail- 

VOL, IV. y 

290 History of the Orange Free State. [1867 

ants and disabled several others. He actually drove the 
whole band off, and with his family escaped to Thaba 
Ntsbu, where Moroko did all that he could for him, and 
as soon as possible sent him to Bloemfontein. 

It was now clear to every one that another struggle was 
unavoidable. On the 16th of July 1867 the president called 
the burghers to arms to clear the ceded territory and compel 
Moshesh to observe the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. Martial 
law was proclaimed throughout the state from the 19th, and 
during its continuance the civil courts were to be closed. 
The volksraad was summoned to meet in extraordinary 
session on the 8th of August. 

Of all the chiefs subject to Moshesh the only one whose 
conduct was not openly hostile was Moperi. He had not yet 
moved to Witsi's Hoek. On the 9th of August the volksraad 
gave him twenty-four hours notice that if he did not leave 
v/ith his clan before the expiration of that time, the agree- 
ment with him would be cancelled. He had been to inspect 
the ground, and had been agreeably surprised to find that 
the location offered him was larger and in every respect 
better than the one he was required to vacate. In Witsi's 
Hoek too he would be free of jealous neighbours. He there- 
fore moved, as required, and took no part in the events that 
followed. A commandant was appointed to live with him, 
and this officer had no reason to complain of his subsequent 
conduct. There to the present day the clan of Moperi lives, 
and it is as prosperous and satisfied as any body of Bantu 
in South Africa. 

The burghers responded to the president's call with a 
sense of duty equal to that displayed in 1865. Government 
and citizens alike resolved to spare no sacrifice to place the 
republic in a position of safety. From all the districts the 
farmers came marcliing under their respective commandants, 
and on the 5th of August two strong brigades entered the 
disturbed territory. The northern brigade was under Chief- 
Commandant G. J. Joubert, the southern under Chief- 
Commandant J. G. Pansegrouw. On the 15th of August the 

186'/] War with the Basulo. 291 

volksraad authorised a loan of £50,000 from the Bloem- 
fontein bank, at eight per cent per annum interest, to defray 
the cost of equipping the forces in the field. 

The tactics adopted by the Basuto on this occasion were 
to avoid encountering the burghers in the open field, to pre- 
tend to hold the hills bat to run away as soon as pressed, 
and really to defend to the best of their ability the strongly 
fortified mountains on which their corn was stored. The 
Free State forces were thus employed for the first six v^eeks 
in marching about, securing a few cattle here and there, 
and driving their opponents from ranges of hills only to find 
the same places occupied by the same people a few days 
later. This kind of work was wearisome and harassing, 
and besides it had no result. A few Basuto were shot, but 
the strength of the enemy could not be diminished in this 

On the 25th of September, however, Makwai's mountain, 
one of the great natural fortresses of the country, was taken 
by Chief-Commandant Pansegrouw's division. A camp had 
been formed in its neighbourhood, from which during the 
night of the 24th three parties set out. The first of these 
parties consisted of sixty European volunteers and one 
hundred Fingos under Commandant Ward. It marched to 
the east end of the mountain. The second, consisting of 
two hundred burghers under Commandant Jooste, marched 
to the north aide. And the third, two hundred burghers 
under the chief-commandant himself, marched to the south 

Under the darkness of night Ward's party crept un- 
molested up the steep slope, and at daybix^ak found itself 
on an extensive tableland with enormous masses of broken 
rock forming the background. The garrison was taken by 
surprise, the first intimation of the attack which they 
received being a volley of bullets. Some cattle wqvq dis- 
covered here, and the Fingos at once commenced driving 
them down. This gave the Basuto an opportunity to rally, 
and they came on in such force that the volunteers were 

292 History of the Orange Free State. [1867 

obligecl to fall back and, after a brief stand, to retire from 
the mountain. 

While the attention of the Basuto was directed to this 
quarter, Conimandant Jooste's men were scaling the northern 
side. They reached without accident the summit of what 
piiay be termed the pedestal, but before them were great 
rocks fortified with numerous sconces. These they took by 
stoim, one after another. While so engaged, they were 
strengthened by one hundred men from the chief-command- 
ant's party, who had crept up in the opposite direction. 
Upon seeing these the Basuto lost all heart and lied, leaving 
the Free State forces in full possession of the mountain. 
Large stores of wheat and millet, besides three hundred and 
fifty head of horned cattle, over five thousand sheep, and 
sixty-eight horses fell into the hands of the conquerors. At 
least sixty-seven Basuto were killed. This stronghold was 
not taken without a considerable number of the captors 
being wounded, but only one life was lost on the European 

After the loss of his stronghold Makwai gave up the 
contest, and with his clan moved over the Drakensberg into 
Nomansland. Lebenya's clan had already gone there from 
the Wittebergen reserve, where they had taken refuge after 
Vechtkop was stormed in 1865. Makwai made peace with 
Adam Kok, and in nominal vassalage to him settled in the 
district which now forms the magistracy of Matatiele. 
Lebenya settled on the land between the Kenigha and Tina 
rivers, which is now included in the magistracy of Mount 
Fletcher. From this date they took no further part in 
hostilities against the Free State, and a very few words 
will suffice to close acquaintanceship with them. In March 
1869 Sir Philip Wodehouse visited Nomansland, and con- 
firmed them in possession of the ground on which they were 
residing. In 1873 Lebenya and his people at their urgent 
request were admitted as British subjects, and in the follow- 
ing year Makwai was also taken over. In 1880 the whole 
of Makwai's clan and part of Lebenya's went into rebellion, 

1867] War with the Basuto. 293 

and were driven by the colonial forces from Matatiele and 
Mount Fletcher back into the Lesuto. 

The capture of Makwai's mountain in all probability kept 
Molapo from joining his father against the Free State. 
Commandant Frans Holm, who was stationed with him, 
reported that he was closely watching the course of events, 
and if the Basuto had been successful at first, he would 
certainly have cast in his lot with them again. Now, 
however, he professed to be sitting still, and to be intent 
only on cultivating his gardens and taking care of his 

Another effect which the capture of this stronghold had 
was to dishearten a large number of stragglers, people who 
were refugees from distant parts of the country and who 
were not by descent attached to any of the fighting chiefs. 
These people now swarmed into the Wittebergen reserve, 
where they were under British protection. The Free State 
armies had thus fewer foes to contend with. 

A garrison was placed on the stronghold to prevent its 
being occupied again, and the commando then resumed the 
drudgery of patrolling the country. The Basuto on their 
part adhered to their former tactics. Letsie with a strong 
garrison was on the Kieme, a mountain second only in 
strength to Thaba Bosigo. Poshuli in like manner was 
holding Tandjesberg. Masupha and Molitsane were watch- 
ing for an opportunity to fall upon any defenceless house- 
holds on the border, and kept Chief - Commandant Joubert 
fully employed in marching i'rom one place to another, and 
then back again. In anticipation that by these means the 
Free State forces would soon be worn out, the Basuto were 
placing a very large part of the ceded territory under 
cultivation. A commando would hardly leave a valley 
before swarms of men and women, issuing from the moun- 
tains, were engaged in hoeing the ground and planting 
maize and millet. To prevent this a force five times as 
great as that the Free State could put into the field would 
have been required. Sentinels on every hill gave notice of 

294 History of the Orange Free State, [186^ 

the approach of the burghers, who soon found that tbeir 
only chance of meeting the enemy was by quick and stealthy 
night marches. 

In this condition of warfare it sometimes happened that 
women and children lost their lives, and for this the Free 
State forces have been severely blamed. But no one has as 
yet devised a plan by which hostilities with a people like the 
Basuto can be carried on without such casualties. Even in 
the sconces and fortified caves, men, women, and children 
were mixed together. Such places could not be attacked 
without peril to those who in civilised countries are regarded 
as non-combatants, and surely it would be absurd to say that 
they should have been passed by because there were women 
and children in them. In some instances the Basuto 
warriors actually shielded themselves behind women. 

A man who did much to misrepresent matters in Europe, 
as well as to encourage the Basuto to pursue a line of con- 
duct that tended directly to ruin, must now be introduced to 
the reader. His name was David Dale Buchanan. Since 
February 1846 he had been editor of the Natal Witness, 
and as he was an advocate of the supreme court of that 
colony, had once been a member of tiie legislative council, 
and even acted for a short time as attorney - general, his 
statements were received abroad with considerable attention. 
In South Africa bis influence was limited to a very small 
and constantly changing circle, owing to his intense vanijby 
and fractiousness. Mr. Buchanan seems to have considered 
that an opportunity to distinguish himself was afforded by 
the strife between the Free State and the Basuto. In 
February 1867 he announced his intention of becoming the 
champion of the Basuto, by writing to the colonial secretary 
of Natal inquiring *' if the government would consider the 
importation of arms and ammunition and the introduction 
of a few experienced gunners at variance with any treaty." 
From that date he became the lesfal adviser of the Basuto 
chiefs, and took an active part in the negotiations between 
them and tl.e authorities of Natal. 

1867] Policy of Mashes L 295 

While the desultory warfare which has been described 
was being carried on, events were leading towards an inter- 
vention by Sir Philip VVodehouse in the most decisive 
manner. The various overtures which had been made by 
Moshesh from time to time to be taken under British pro- 
tection had been productive of no result, but he still 
persevered in his efforts. In August 1867 Makotoko, the 
old chief's nephew and confidential messenger, was sent by 
Moshesh and Letsie to Natal to urge " that they and their 
people and their country might be received by and be made 
to belong to Her Majesty the Queen of England, and be 
attached to the colony of Natal ; to occupy the same position 
with regard to the government of Natal, and to pay the same 
taxes as the native chiefs and tribes already living in Natal, 
and to be presided over by a magistrate or other officer 
appointed by the government of Natal to live for that purpose 
in Basutoland." If this should not be conceded, Makotoko 
was to ask that the British government should " not supply 
arms and ammunition to one side and withhold them from 
the other, but let both have an equal chance, and if the 
Basuto must perish, let them perish defending themselves 
with means to procure which they should be allowed the 
same facilities as their enemies from a neutral source." 

Language like this is apt to mislead people at a distance, 
and to create sympathy in those who know nothing of the 
circumstances under which it is used. It would be appro- 
priate in the mouth of a chief defending the hereditary 
possessions of himself and his tribe against unprovoked 
aggression. But it came with bad grace from Moshesh and 
Letsie, whose want of honesty was the cause of all the 
trouble, and who could have secured peace at any time by 
simply fulfilling their engagements. 

Sir Philip Wodehouse, to whom this matter was referred, 
had for a long time advocated the adoption of the Basuto 
as British subjects, and he now— 17th of September 1867— 
wrote again to the imperial government to that effect, but 
recommending that tbey should be placed under the control 

296 History of the Orange Free State, [1867 

of the governor of the Cape Colony as high commissioner 
rather than under that of the Natal government. The duke 
of Buckingham and Chandos had recently succeeded Lord 
Carnarvon as secretary of state for the colonies. On the 
9th of December he replied to Sir Philip Wodehouse in the 
following terms : 

"Her Majesty's goTernment have had under their careful con- 
sideration the repeated offers made by the chief Moshesh that he and 
his people, with their territory, should be received under the authority 
of the Queen. . . . Her Majesty's government consider that the 
residence of a British agent with Moshesh would not accomplish a 
permanent settlement of the difficulties which have to be met, while 
it might embarrass our relations with independent native tribes and 
the Free State ; and they have therefore come to the conclusion 
that the peace and welfare of Her Majesty's possessions in South 
Africa would be best promoted by accepting the overtures made by 
that chief. 

"If Her Majesty's government had merely entertained the ques- 
tion of a closer alliance with the Basuto by the appointment of a 
British agent, or by some other means not involving sovereign rights, 
it would have been right that the tribe should continue to be under 
the control of the governor of the Cape Colony in his capacity of high 
commissioner ; but as their recognition as British subjects, and the 
incorporation of their territory, are now the matters under consideration, 
Her Majesty's government have to decide in what manner these 
important measures can be best carried into etfect, and they feel no 
doubt that the best and most obvious arrangement would be the 
annexation of Basutoland to the colony of Natal. . . . 

"Assuming therefore that the legislature of Natal, as Her Majesty's 
government have reason to anticipate, will readily acquiesce in such 
a measure, they authorise you, whenever a fitting opportunity may 
occur, to treat with the chief Moshesh for the recognition of himself 
and of his tribe as British subjects, and for the incorporation of their 
territory with Natal on the general conditions stated. 

"It is not improbable that the Orange Free State would be glad to 
see a new order of things established which would give them freedom 
from the depredations of the Basuto ; and while leaving to your dis- 
cretion the time and manner of accomplishing this measure, and the 
terms in which you will communicate with the Free State on the 
subject. Her Majesty's government would only impress upon you the 
importance of including a settlement of the boundaries between the 
Free State and Basutoland as an integral part of the arrangement." 

As soon as the above despatch reached South Africa, the 
high commissioner communicated with President Brand and 

1 868] Attitude of Sh' Philip W ode house. 297 

Moshesh — 13th of January 1868 — informing them of the 
power placed in his hands, and announcing that he intended 
to make use of it. To each he recommended a suspension 
of hostilities, and stated that he would visit the Lesuto 
about the end of March or beginning of April to make the 
necessary arrangements. 

The reply of Moshesh was full of thanks and protestations 
of loyalty. The president, in his answer — dated 3 1st of 
January 1868 — after recapitulating the events that led to 
the war, informed the high commissioner that he thought 
"it would be unsafe to suspend hostilities against the Basuto 
at the moment that the object of the war was nearly accom^ 
plisbed, and when the arms of the republic were, under 
God's blessing, everywhere successful, trusting merely to the 
good faith and the inclination and power of Moshesh to 
make his people comply with the treaty of Thaba Bosigo." 
He had therefore written to Moshesh that the war would 
be prosecuted with vigour until the murderers of Bush and 
Krynauw were delivered to the Free State and the annexed 
territory cleared of the Basuto. As the second article of 
the convention of the 23rd of February 18S4 stated that 
her Majesty's government had no wish or intention to enter 
thereafter into any treaties to the north of the Orange river 
which might be injurious or prejudicial to the interests of 
the Free State, the communication that Moshesh and his 
tribe were in all probability about to become subjects of the 
British crown had taken him quite by surprise. He 
regretted that he could not coincide in his Excellency's 
opinion that the course proposed would tend to the future 
general peace of South Africa. And as the interest and 
welfare of the Free State would be so seriously affected by 
it, he had convened the volksraad to meet in extraordinary 
session on the 21st of March. 

The president's statement of the recent successes of the 
Free State arms was correct. Tiie northern commando had 
succeeded in depriving the enemy, of a large quantity of 
grain and a considerable number of cattle, it had burnt 

298 History of the Orange Free State, [186B 

several kraals and destroyed extensive fortifications at 
Platberg, the Berea, Koranaberg, and other places. The 
southern commando had met with like success in the dis- 
tricts along the Orange river and about the Koesberg. And, 
more than all this, on the 28th of January, only three days 
before the letter was written, Tandjesberg had been taken 
by storm by Chief-Commandant Pansegrouw. 

This stronghold was attacked in the same way as Makwai's 
mountain. Commandant Yan der Merwe with the Faure- 
smith burghers was sent to make a feint at the north-eastern 
point while Commandant Jooste with a strong detachment 
crept up the south-western extremitj^ An hour before 
daybreak Van der Merwe, under a heavy fire of cannon, 
pretended to storm the mountain, his burghers keeping up a 
continual discharge of rifles, but not exposing themselves 
unnecessarily. The ruse succeeded. Poshuli's men were 
drawn towards the threatened point, and Jooste seized the 
opportunity to climb up to the top of the great mound. The 
rocks there were full of sconces, the first of which was in 
possession of the burghers before the enemy was aware of 
what was taking place. 

Even then the position of Poshuli's men would have been 
impregnable if they had not lost heart. In some places 
the burghers had to scale steep rocks to attack the sconces, 
but in their enthusiasm they surmounted every obstacle, 
and early in the morning they were in full possession of the 
stronghold, from which the Basuto fled in a panic. Though 
only six burghers were wounded, the conquerors counted one 
hundred and twenty-six dead bodies of their enemies. How 
many more Basuto were killed and how many were wounded 
cannot be stated with accuracy, but the number of the latter 
was very considerable. The movable spoil consisted of one 
hundred and six horses, one hundred and forty head of 
horned cattle, one thousand and seventy .sheep, and a very 
large quantity of grain. 

Among those who fell at Tandjesberg was Moshesh's 
brother Poshuli, the most renowned robber captain in South 

J 868] Attitude of Sir Philip W ode house, 299 

Africa. He was wounded in the leg, and was endeavouring 
to get away with the assistance of one of his sons and two 
or three of his counsellors, when he found himself exposed 
to a fire of musketry from the front. To lighten himself 
he unbuckled his ammunition pouch and gave it with his 
rifle to his son. The party tnen tried to escape into the 
gorge leading down the mountain, but they had only pro- 
ceeded a fev>^ paces when a ball entered between Poshuli's 
shoulders and passed through his chest, killing him instantly. 
His son and counsellors managed to conceal the body in a 
cave until nightfall, when they carried it away for burial. 
In the engagement one of the inferior half brothers of 
Moshesh also fell, and two of Poshuli's sons of minor rank 
were wounded. 

The loss of Tandjesberg was considered by the Basuto 
the severest blow they had received since the formation of 
the tribe by Moshesh. From its fall the cry of the old chief 
to the high commissioner was earnest and unceasing^ to come 
quickly or it would be too late. The burghers were in a 
corresponding degree inspirited. The young corn was now 
so far grown that it could be easily destroyed, and they 
were doing their utmost to cut it down. Their hope was 
strong that with a little further exertion Moshesh's power 
would be broken, and the tribe which had so long menaced 
their very existence be scattered in fragments too weak to 
be dangerous. 

Sir Philip Wodehouse, on finding that President Brand's 
government did not cease hostilities, issued directions that 
no ammunition should be permitted to be removed from any 
of the colonial ports to the Free State without his authority. 
But while acting in this decided manner, his language to 
the president was more friendly and conciliatory than it had 
ever been before. He pointed out that " if a fair under- 
standing could be arrived at, the British authorities would 
be bound to maintain a due control over their ow^n subjects, 
and the people of the Free State would thus be left to enjoy 
in peace, and without any extraordinary effort on their part, 

300 History of the Orange Free State, [1868 

the lands they had hitherto held on such unprofitable terms." 
He was seeking, he said, the welfare of the Free State quite 
as much as that of the Basuto. He could not forget that 
its people were all but a few years before, as many of them 
still were, British subjects ; that they were the near kinsmen 
of the people of the Cape Colony ; and that any misfortunes 
that befell them must to a great extent be shared by the 
coloni.sts. He therefore still allowed himself to hope that he 
might gain the assent of the Free State government to his 
proposals, and that by consenting to suspend hostilities with 
a view to negotiation, that government would prevent 
farther unnecessary sacrifice of human life. 

On the 22ad of February another great success was 
achieved by Chief - Commandant Pansegrouw's brigade. Be- 
fore daylight tliat morning the same tactics that had been 
successful at Makwai's mountain and Tandjesberg were 
employed against the Kieme, the stronghold of Letsie. 
Pansegrouw himself with one hundred burghers made the 
feint on this occasion. Letsie was at the time on a visit to 
Thaba Bosigo, and Lerothodi, his eldest son, was in command 
of the garrison. The Basuto collected to resist the supposed 
attack, when Commandant Jooste with four hundred and 
eighty burghers and eighty European volunteers scaled the 
mountain in another direction. Most of the sconces were 
taken, but several of the strongest were left unattacked, as 
they were so situated that to storm them would cost a great 
loss of life, without any advantage. The Basuto in them 
were practically shut up, and in course of time would be 
obliofed to surrender. One burgher was wounded, and some 
thirty Basuto were killed. The spoil taken consisted of 
seven hundred and twenty horses, seven thousand six 
hundred and thirty - six head of horned cattle, fourteen 
thousand four hundred sheep, one cannon, and a quantity 
of grain. 

For some time now the Basuto had only been kept to- 
gether by the encouragement given by Sir Philip Wode- 
house, who was anxious to prevent them from crov/ding into 

1 868] Reception of the Basuto as British Subjects. 301 

the colony in a state of destitution. When intelligence of 
the capture of the Kieme reached Capetown, the high com- 
missioner recognised that if the tribe was to be preserved 
intact no time must be lost in placing it under British 
protection. Accordingly Sir Walter Currie, commandant of 
the frontier armed and mounted police, was directed to mass 
as many of his men as possible on the border, and as soon 
as that could be done a proclamation was issued by Sir 
Philip Wodehouse : 

" Whereas, with a view to the restoration of peace and the future 
maintenance of tranquillity and good government on the north-eastern 
border of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, Her Majesty the 
Queen has been graciously pleased to comply with the request made 
by Moshesh, the paramount chief, and other headmen of the tribe of 
the Basuto, that the said tribe may be admitted into the allegiance 
of Her Majesty ; and whereas Her Majesty has been further pleased 
to authorise me to take the necessary steps for giving effect to her 
pleasure in the matter : 

" Now, therefore, I do hereby proclaim and declare that from and 
after the publication hereof the said tribe of the Basuto shall be, 
and shall be taken to be, for all intents and purposes, British subjects ; 
and the territory of the said tribe shall be, and shall be taken to be, 
British territory. And I hereby require all Her Majesty's subjects 
in South Africa to take notice of this my proclamation accordingly." 



APRIL 1870. 

The proclamation by which the Basuto became British sul> 
jects and their country British territory was dated on the 
12th of March 1868, and was published on the following 
day. It indicated a ^reat change in public opinion in 
England, and a complete reversal of the previous policy of 
the imperial government regarding South Africa. The 
abandonment of the Orange River Sovereignty in 1854 had 
been viewed with alarm by all those colonists who were 
attached to the British empire, and of late years a feeling 
almost of dismay had been created by the similar abandon- 
ment of the vacant Transkeian territory through fear of 
expense and danger of conflict with Bantu tribes. One of 
the fairest opportunities ever offered for legitimate settle- 
ment of white people in the country was thrown away, 
with the result that the Cape Colony has already had to 
bear the expense of two wars, and is left weaker than it 
might have been for ail time to come. A poiicy that could 
lead to such disastrous consequences, which it needed little 
penetration on the part of colonists to foresee, was therefore 
most unpopular in this country, and there would have been 
general rejoicing if it had been reversed in some way not 
savouring of partiality towards black people. But in this 
matter of accepting the Basuto as British subjects, most men 
believed that the policy of the imperial government had been 
reversed only to prevent a perfidious tribe from being 

punished as it deserved to be. 


1 868] Financial Condition of the Free State. 303 

On the other hand a small section of the communitj'", 
confined almost exclusively to men engaged in commerce, 
maintained that the act of Sir Philip Wodehouse was 
necessary in the general interests of the country and was by 
no means an unfriendly one towards the Free State. It 
was pointed out that Thaba Bosigo was not yet taken, and 
it was argued that the Basuto tribe, even if conquered, could 
not be kept in control by its exhausted opponent. Statistics 
were brought forward to show how exhausted that opponent 
must be. The ordinary revenue of the Free State was only 
£56,000 per annum, its ordinary expenditure was £55,000, 
and its public debt was £50,000 to the Bloemfontein bank, 
£39,000 still in circulation in notes out of the issue of 
£43,000, and outstanding accounts amounting to £16,000 : 
in all £105,000. The people were so impoverished by the 
war that further taxation was impossible. There were no 
means of raising a loan, for there was nothing to pledge as 
security for payment. The whole of the public buildings in 
the country were worth only £10,000. There were govern- 
ment notes to the amount of £126,000 in circulation — 
£30,000 lent to the Bloemfontein bank, £57,000 lent to 
farmers, the balance part of the debt — and £5 in notes had 
only the purchasing power of £3 in gold. The imports 
during the war were at the rate of £300,000 yearly, and 
the exports only at the rate of £265,000, thus leaving a 
balance of trade against the state of £35,000 per annum. 
No less a sum than £650,000 was due by traders and farmers 
of the state to the Standard bank, merchants of Port Eliza- 
beth, and others in the Cape Colony, while the courts were 
closed for the hearin^jf of civil cases on account of the 


To all these figures the reply of the other party was that 
the Free State did not admit that it was exhausted, it was 
prepared to continue to the end a struggle which it had 
nearly brought to a successful conclusion, and would take 
good care to make such terms as would prevent the Basuto 
from again breaking the peace. This controversy was Ti\?Avi- 

304 History of Basutoland. [1868 

tained for some months, and only gradually lost the bitterness 
with which it was at first carried on. 

The proclamation laid down no limits for the Lesuto, 
nor did it define clearly what people were annexed. The 
followers of Moperi, living in Witsi's Hoek, were unques- 
tionably Basuto. So were the clans under Molapo, living 
between the Putiatsana and the Caledon, and the adherents 
of Jan Letele, living in the district of Smithfield. All these 
were Free State subjects, but they might, or might not, be 
included in the proclamation, just as one should interpret it. 

On the 14th of March a commission was issued to Sir 
"Walter Currie, commandant of the frontier armed and 
mounted police, appointing him agent for the high com- 
missioner in Basutoland. He was instructed to lose no time 
in proceeding to the assistance of the Basuto with the whole 
available police force, which had been assembled for that 
purpose in the Wittebergen reserve. At the same time the 
high commissioner wrote to Moshesh and to President Brand, 
informing them of the proclamation. To the president he 
added that he entertained the strongest desire of com- 
municating unreservedly, with a view to the satisfactory 
settlement of afiairs. 

On the 2.3rd of March Sir Walter Currie with the police 
crossed the Orange and entered the Lesuto. He was 
desirous of proceeding at once to Thaba Bosigo, but was 
unable to get guides or assistance of any kind, as the 
people of that part of the country were ignorant of the 
negotiations between the high commissioner and Moshesh, 
and were suspicious of the police. Sir Walter therefore 
called upon Mr. Austen, superintendent of the reserve, for 
assistance. That officer at once repaired to the camp, and 
sent out messengers in all directions with intelligence that 
the police had come to assist the Basuto. He also engaged 
a son of Morosi and ten men from the reserve to accompany 
the commandant to Thaba Bosigo. 

On the 26th Sir Walter arrived at Moshesh's head- 
quarterS; and was received with every demonstration of joy 

1 868] Opinions of the Volksraad. 305 

by the old chief and the people about him. Upon the pro- 
clamation being read they all rose up and gave three cheers 
for the Queen, Moshesh himself being greatly excited. A 
notification was immediately sent by the high commissioner's 
agent to the various commandants of the Free State forces 
in the field, informing them that he had directed the chiefs 
to cease ail acrrrressive moveaients, and that it would be his 
duty to assist and support the Basuto if hostilities should 
be continued against them. He then formed a camp at 
Korokoro, about ten miles or sixteen kilometres south of 
Thaba Bosigo and five kilometres east of the Kieme, where 
he awaited the course of events. 

As soon as President Brand received notice of the procla- 
mation he issued instructions to the officers of the Free 
State forces under no circumstances to cross the boundary 
fixed by the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. They were to remain 
within the ceded territory and guard it against encroach- 
ments by the Basuto, and should British troops or the 
colonial police appear there, they were to protest formally, 
but to offer no resistance. 

On the 21st of March the volksraad met, when a long 
and earnest discussion took place upon the high commis- 
sioner's proceedings. The views entertained by the members 
were that the Free State had been unjustly and ungener- 
ously dealt with. Unjustly, inasmuch as the convention of 
1854 had been violated by the reception of the Basuto as 
British subjects and by the prohibition of the sale of 
ammunition to the republic by merchants in the colony. 
Ungenerously, inasmuch as the little state, which had been 
thrown upon its own resources by England owing solely to 
the diflaculty of dealing with the Basuto, had made enormous 
sacrifices to punish the disturber of the peace of South 
Africa, and was therefore entitled to the sympathy of her 
Majesty's government. 

One after another the members reviewed the relationship 
between the whites and the Basuto from the time of the 
proclamation of the queen's sovereignty by Sir Harry Smith 

VOL. lY. X 

3o6 History of Basutoland, [t868 

to this act of Sir Philip Wodehouse. Tl^ey denounced in 
bitter terms the misrepresentation of events which they 
alleged was constantly made in England by a party that 
under all circumstances maintained the innocence and in- 
tegrity of the blacks, while the statements of the whites 
were unheard or unheeded. They declared their apprehen- 
sion that English rule in Basutoland would bring about a 
repetition of the evils under which the country suffered in 
the time of Major Warden, for they believed it would not 
be supported by any strong physical force, and while the 
border would be subject to continual devastation by bands 
of robbers, the farmers would be prevented from following 
up and punishing thieves by fear that the English govern- 
ment might consider such conduct towards British subjects 
as hostile towards itself. 

Holding such views, on the 24th of March the volksraad 
directed the president to protest to the imperial government 
in the most positive and emphatic manner against the 
recent acts of the high commissioner, and to inform his 
Excellency that they could not appoint delegates to enter 
into any negotiations based upon a violation of the con- 
vention of 1854. It was resolved to send a deputation to 
England to confer directly with the imperial government. 

Meantime the high commissioner had left Capetown to 
visit the Lesuto. On the 27th of March he was at Coles- 
berg, from which place he addressed a letter to President 
Brand, proposing terms of settlement. These terms were 
that the boundary of Basutoland should be that fixed by 
Sir George Grey in 1858 and by himself in 1864 ; that 
along the Basuto side of the line he would cause three 
hundred farms of fifteen hundred morgen each to be sold, 
and pay the proceeds to the Free State government ; or 
that he would grant titles on quitrent to nominees of the 
Free State government for the same number of farms. 

This proposal, if accepted, would thus have placed a belt 
of Europeans under English rule between the Free State 
and the portion of the Lesuto reserved for the people of 

i868] Course of Negotiations, 307 

Moshesh, and would have been a tolerable guarantee against 
such a condition of affairs on the border as the members 
of the volksraad dreaded. It would have taken from the 
Free State the whole of the land ceded to it by the treaty 
of Thaba Bosigo — inclusive of the district occupied by 
Molapo,— would have restored four-sevenths of that land to 
the Basuto, and would have given to the Free State in 
return the proceeds of the sale of three hundred farms. 

The president declined the proposal. He replied that, 
apart from all other considerations, many grants of farms 
had been made in the ceded district ; land had been sold, 
resold, and transferred in it; part of it was pledged as 
security for money borrowed by the state ; and sites for 
villages had been surveyed in it, the erven of one of which 
— Wepener, close to Jammerberg Drift on the Caledon — 
had been allotted in October 1867 ; so that the Free State 
government would be laying itself open to endless claims 
and complications by acceding to the proposal. He desired 
instead that the high commissioner would restrain the 
Basuto within the boundary fixed by the treaty of Thaba 
Bosigo, until the result of the protest about to be forwarded 
to the imperial government should be known. 

On the 30th of March the high commissioner reached 
Aliwal North. From this place he addressed the president, 
calling his attention to the fact that the courts of the Free 
State had been closed for the hearing of civil cases during 
the continuance of the war, and maintaining that this was 
a violation of the convention. He asserted further that the 
employment of British subjects under the conditions offered 
by the Free State was an unfriendly act, and tended to set 
at naught the neutrality proclamation. 

The president replied, explaining that the civil courts were 
necessarily closed while the burghers were in the field, and 
citing precedents in the recent history of the Cape Colony. 
He claimed that the Free State had respected the neutrality 
proclamation, and denied that the employment of English 
residents who offered their services in war was unfriendly 

3o8 History of Basutoland. [1^68 

towards the British government. He offered to guarantee 
that no molestation should be made across the boundary- 
according to the treaty of Thaba Bosigo, if his Excellency 
would do the same from the other side. 

The high commissioner answered that he would be unable 
to restrain the Basuto within these limits, as the country 
lef^ to them by the treaty was too small for their mainten- 
ance. He then withdrew his former offer, but professed 
himself still willing to enter into negotiations. In a subse- 
quent letter, written at the police camp at Korokoro on the 
14th of April, he proposed that pending the negotiations 
with her Majesty's government a temporary boundary should 
be agreed upon and molestation from either side prohibited. 
For this purpose he proposed the line which is at present 
the boundary between the Orange and the Caledon, and 
across the last named river a line which would restore to 
the Basuto a triangular block of ground of no very great 
extent, but which contained the French mission stations of 
Mekuatling and Mabolela. 

This proposal contained no reference to Molapo by name, 
but, if accepted, it would have deprived the Free State of 
its claim to authority over him and his clan. In making 
it, the high commissioner had the line he named in view 
as the future boundary of Basutoland, for he had already 
come to the conclusion that it would be a fair division 
between the contending parties. The president, however, 
declined to agree to it. 

By this time Sir Philip Wodehouse had made himself 
acquainted with the actual condition of affairs around him. 
The war had entailed great losses, and had disorganised 
society everywhere. The tribe seemed ready to break up 
into a hundred fragments. There was a great deal of sick- 
ness among the people, owing to want of food and shelter 
by the clans that had been most exposed. It was believed 
that some of them had resorted again to cannibalism, but 
Europeans could not then ascertain whether this was correct 
or not. Four months later the rumour was proved to be 

1 868] Condition of the Basitto, 309 

true. In July Mr. J. H. Bowker was shown a cave, of 
which he wrote to the hioh commissioner that the floor an<l 
the open space in front were so covered with human bones, 
chiefly of young people, that he could have loaded a waggon 
with them in a short time ; all of the skulls were broken ; 
and though some of the bones were apparently many years 
old, others had been cooked quite recently. 

But though some sections of the tribe were reduced to 
the direst distress, others had hardly suff'ered at all. Several 
of the leading chiefs had lost very little of their personal 
property. Their cattle were safe in the mountains, and with 
them there was no scarcity of food. Inside the limits of 
the Lesuto according to the treaty of Thaba Bosigo there 
were enormous crops of corn ready for gathering, while in 
the country of Molapo, between the Putiatsana and the 
Caledon, every valley was a corn-field. The Cape police 
were purchasing then, as they did for many months 
afterwards, as much millet as they needed at twelve shillings 
a muid. 

Molapo, so far from being a contented and peaceable 
subject of the Free State as the president at an earlier date 
supposed, had already welcomed the high commissioner's 
agent and expressed a desire to come under British pro- 
tection. He had informed Sir Walter Currie that the reason 
why he had taken no part in the recent hostilities was an 
understanding between his father and himself that his 
people should merely pretend to be peaceful, so as to grow 
abundance of food and protect the cattle of the tribe ; but 
they had intended to join their kinsmen against the Free 
State whenever it could be done with a prospect of success. 
He had brought a present of cattle for the use of the 
police, had written to the president throwing off his 
allegiance, and had set at defiance the Fjee State 
commandant who resided with him. 

Moperi had also communicated with the high commis- 
sioner's agent, and had expressed a wish to be reunited to 
the remainder of the tribe and be taken under British 

310 History of Basutoland, [1868 

protection. But he was unwillinpr to give up his location 
in Witsi's Hoek and return to the Lesuto. 

In the territory ceded by the treaty of Thaba Bosigo, the 
Free State forces held most of the strong places, but had 
not succeeded in entirely expelling the Basuto. These, 
however, had no powder left, and did not venture to meet 
their opponents in the open field. 

On the 15th of April a great meeting took place at 
Thaba Bosigo. With Sir Philip Wodehouse were Mr. Keate, 
lieutenant-governor of Natal, Mr. Shepstone, secretary for 
native affairs in Natal, Sir Walter Currie, commandant of 
the frontier police and high commissioner's agent in Basuto- 
land, and several other officers and attendants. The reverend 
Mr. Daniel, who had accompanied the high commissioner 
from Aliwal North, acted as interpreter. The old chief 
Moshesh was there with his sons, counsellors, and most of 
the leading men of the tribe, all deeply anxious to learn 
what the great power whose aid they had invoked intended 
to do for them. 

The high commissioner stated that in order to carry on 
the government of the country three or four Biitish officers 
would be appointed, but that the customs of the people 
would not be interfered with more than was necessar}^ As 
soon as negotiations with the Free State were concluded 
the Lesuto would be annexed to Natal, according to the 
wish expressed by Moshesh and the instructions of the 
imperial government. The Basuto must not expect to have 
the whole of the territory within the boundaries of 1858 
restored to them, but he would endeavour to recover 
sufficient ground for their comfortable subsistence outside of 
the limits assigned by the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. They 
must be prepared to pay annually a tax of ten shillings 
for each occupied hut in the country. 

Their subsequent conduct proves that the high commis- 
sioner's address gave very little real satisfaction to the 
Basuto chiefs, nevertheless they were prufuse in thanks for 
what he had done and intended to do for them. The hut- 

i86S] Requests of the Basuto. 311 

tax, they promised, should be regularly paid as soon as 
peace should be restored. To one point only did they make 
objection. They did not wish the Lesuto annexed to NateJ, 
for that was a country of which they knew very little, while 
with the Cape Colony they had been acquainted since the 
time when Sir George Napier was governor. Further than 
this they had little to say, except that they would consult 
together and Moshesh would inform the high commissioner 
of the result. 

Within a few days letters were written in the name of 
the chief, asking that the Lesuto might be declared a reserve, 
that is that it should be kept for the use of black people 
only, and Europeans be prevented from holding land in it; 
that it might remain distinct from both the Cape Colony 
and Natal, and be dependent upon the high commissioner 
alone ; but that if it must be joined to one of these colonies 
the Basuto would prefer the Cape, as they knew its customs 
from having had trading transactions with it for many 
years. The high commissioner was also requested to receive 
Moperi as a British subject, and claim w^as laid to Witsi's 
Hoek, where Moperi lived, as being part of the Lesuto. 
Nehemiah at the same time wrote asking leave to return 
to Matatiele and that a British agent might be appointed to 
reside there with him. 

What the Basuto chiefs really wanted was to be protected 
from their enemies, to exist with their people as a separate 
and compact tribe, to have space for great expansion, and 
to surrender no more authority than was unavoidable. 

The claim of Moshesh to Witsi's Hoek as a portion of the 
Lesuto rested on a similar foundation to his claim to so 
much ground elsewhere, that it had been occupied for 
several years by the Bakolokwe, who had since become 
his subjects ; but Sir Philip Wodehouse took no notice of it. 
In the early years of the century that tract of land was in 
possession of the Batlokua. Sikonyela, Moshesh's bitterest 
enemy, would have inherited it if he had not been driven 
away by invaders from the coast region. Under the 

312 History of Bastitoland. ' [1868 

Sovereignty, Major Warden gave out farms in it without 
Sikonyela or his people making any objection. At that time 
the greater part of it was occupied by the Bakolokwe under 
Witsi, from whom it was afterwards taken by Free State 
forces binder Mr. J. M. Orpen, landdrost of Winburg. Thus 
Moshesh's conquest of Sikonyela gave him no right to 
Witsi's Hoek. 

Sir Philip Wodehouse remained in the Lesuto until the 
28th of April, but could do nothing towards the pacification 
of the country. In the ceded territory skirmishing continued 
as before the issue of the proclamation, though military 
operations on a large scale were no longer conducted. Trad- 
ing operations, however, were renewed to some extent. 

As soon as the high commissioner left, a spirit of dis- 
satisfaction manifested itself, resting on the disappointment 
of the chiefs that the boundaries of 1858 had not been 
restored and that peace had not been the immediate result 
of their adoption as British subjects. The lieutenant- 
governor and secretary for native affairs of Natal were 
accompanied by a number of Bantu attendants from that 
colony, and these managed to instil into the minds of the 
Basuto that if their country was annexed to Natal a force 
of ten thousand warriors would at once be sent to aid them 
in driving back the Free State people. Hereupon Molapo 
became openly a warm advocate of annexation to Natal, and 
several other leading chiefs, including Moshesh himself, were 
suspected of secretly holding the same views. 

At this juncture Sir Walter Currie was replaced as high 
commissioner's agent by Mr. James Henry Bowker, the officer 
next in rank in the frontier police, and the greater number 
of the police were withdrawn from the Lesuto and returned 
to their duties on the colonial border. 

The protest of the Free State against the reception of the 
Basuto as British subjects and against the stoppage of am- 
munition was submitted to Lord Stanley, then secretary of 
state for foreign affairs, who referred it to the duke of 
Buckingham and Chandos, secretary of state for the colonies. 

1 868] Negotiations for a Settlement. 313 

on the ground that it was not expedient to deal with the 
republics in South Africa through the foreign office. 

The Free State delegates — the reverend Mr. Van de Wall 
and Mr. C. J. de Villiers — were received by the duke of 
Buckingham at the colonial office. They first requested that 
the proclamation of Sir Philip Wodehouse should be with- 
drawn, and the Free State be left alone to make terms with 
the Basuto. This was refused, and they then asked that 
an impartial commission should be sent from England to 
examine the case on the spot. This also was declined, and 
the delegates were informed that the queen's government 
would not withdraw the negotiations from the high com- 
missioner and would only correspond with the president 
through him. 

This action was in accordance with precedents, but it is 
doubtful whether the duke of Buckingham would not have 
made some concessions on this occasion if it had not been 
for the attitude of Sir Philip Wodehouse, for he had already 
informed the high commissioner that he thought his pro- 
ceeding in proclaiming Basutoland British territory, without 
the previous acquiescence of the legislature of Natal, was in 
excess of the authority conferred upon him. Sir Philip had 
requested that the delegates should be referred back to him, 
and that the negotiations should be left in his hands, asking 
that he might be relieved if he was not permitted to carry 
out his own views. The secretary of state, fearing further 
complications, left the matter entirely to the high commis- 
sioner, agreed to the scheme which he advocated of governing 
the country for a time by an agent without annexation to 
either colony, and extended Sir Philip Wodehouse's term 
of office to enable him to bring the affair to a conclusion. 

All this time a lengthy correspondence was being carried 
on between the high commissioner and the president of the 
Free State, but without any result. 

On the 7th of May the volksraad resolved that the high 
commissioner should be asked if he would adhere to the 
boundary according to the treaty of Thaba Bosigo until the 

314 History of the Orange Free State. [1868 

result of the deputation to Eii^^land should be known, or, 
failing that, if he would agree to some other line as a 
temporary measure, and guarantee to restore the land beyond 
it cleared and unoccupied in case the final decision should be 
that the Free State was entitled to it. 

The high commissioner replied that he could not enter 
into any guarantee of the kind, that he wished to fix the 
temporary line as nearly as possible where the final line 
must be, and again proposed the old boundary with a belt 
of farms under the British government behind it. As the 
Free State government was complaining bitterly of the thefts 
to which its subjects were exposed by Basuto raids from 
beyond the Thaba Bosigo line, which its forces could not 
check, the high commissioner called the president's attention 
to the fact that stealing had not always been confined to 
one party in the strife, and referred to the report of the 
commission in 1861, in which the thefts by Jan Letele's 
followers from the Basuto of Moshesh were stated to have 
been in excess of those by the Basuto of Moshesh from the 
residents in the Smithfield district. 

The volksraad rejected the high commissioner's proposal, 
and determined to await the result of the deputation to 
England. The correspondence was then continued on the 
questions of the thieving, which Sir Philip Wodehouse would 
do nothing to prevent until some settlement should be 
arrived at, and of charges brought by Moshesh against the 
burgher commandos of gross ill-treatment of Basuto women, 
which were investigated and disproved. 

Mr. Bowker, as high commissioner's agent, found himself 
in the midst of intrigues, without any material force to rely 
upon. An analysis of their conduct showed him that there 
was not a chief among them all whose professions were of 
any worth. 

As for old Moshesh, of the abilities for which he had once 
been so distinguished he retained very little more than 
his craftiness. He was feeble with agfe, and loved to talk 
for hours of the deeds of his youth and his prime, but could 

1 868] Dissatisfaction of the Bastcto. 315 

not be kept steadfast to any present purpose. At one time 
he seemed to be in favour of the annexation of his country 
to Natal, in expectation of receiving strong reinforcements 
from that colony ; then he spoke of renewing negotiations 
himself with the Free State, as the high commissioner's 
interference had not resulted in immediate peace ; again, he 
expressed himself satisned with what Sir Philip Wodehouse 
was doing, and desirous that the Lesuto should remain a 
reserve under the direction of the bio-h commissioner. 

Letsie was the one most to be depended upon, because 
he was the one who had most to gain from British pro- 
tection. Molapo was doing all in his power to induce the 
tribe to throw in its lot with Natal, and openly applied to 
Mr. Shepstone, secretary for native affairs in that colony, to 
appoint an agent to reside with him. Masupha held himself 
aloof from the high commissioner's agent, and was known 
to be directing such skirmishing operations as were being 
carried on. Morosi was the head of a gang of thieves who 
were plundering the people in the Wittebergen reserve and 
the colonial districts beyond. The minor chiefs were 
scheming, each in order to secure something for himself at 
the expense of others. 

As time wore on and no settlement was attained, many 
of the Basuto came to the conclusion that they had gained 
nothing by becoming British subjects. Some began even to 
suspect that the few police in the country were there to aid 
the Free State rather than them. Two or three discharged 
policemen took service in one of the Free State commandos, 
and were recognised there by Basuto spies, a circumstance 
which created so much suspicion that it was with difficulty 
Mr. Bowker could satisfy the chiefs that he was not 
responsible for their conduct. 

Another event which increased this feeling of disafiectlon 
was the arrest by Mr. Austen, superintendent of the Witte- 
bergen reserve, of Sekwati, son of the late chief Poshuli, on 
a charge of theft. In former years there had been living 
in the reserve a troublesome Hlubi headman named Josana 

3i6 History of Basiitoland. [1868 

(son of Mini, third son of TJmpangazita), whose misconduct 
at length necessitated his expulsion. He and his people 
then crossed over to the Free State side of the river, and 
during the war he took service under Commandant Webster. 
He was thus a declared enemy of the Basuto, and subject to 
be attacked. Some people of the reserve had sent their 
cattle to Josana's new location, where the pasturage was 
good, and placed them under his charge; while there they 
were swept off by Basuto raiders under Sekwati, but the 
owners, having joined Josana's people, followed the Basuto 
and retook their stock. Sekwati then carried off some 
horses from the reserve, when he was pursued by Mr, 
Austen, who arrested him and two of his followers. Twenty 
guns were taken from his other attendants. The robbers 
were sent by Mr. Austen to the prison at Aliwal North, and 
the preliminary steps were taken for their prosecution. 

At once there was great excitement throughout the 
Lesuto, for the people maintained that Mr. Austen was 
taking the part of Josana against them, and had subjected 
to indignity a chief of such high rank as the son of 
Poshuli. Mr. Bowker found it necessary to urge the im- 
mediate release of the prisoners and the restoration of the 
guns. Mr. Austen declined, and the high commissioner was 
appealed to. The difficulty was surmounted by the release 
of Sekwati and his followers, after a confinement of over a 
month, on the grounds that they had been arrested in 
Basutoland and that it was uncertain whether the horses 
they were charged with stealing had not been taken from 
the Free State side of the river. 

There was no attempt made to enfoice authority, or to 
secure the observance of any law, English or Basuto. The 
most that was attempted by the high commissioner was to 
prohibit the sale of spirituous liquor in the country. The 
chiefs did each as he saw fit. Moroko had taken no part in 
the hostilities between the Free State and the Basuto since 
the treaty of Thaba Bosigo, nevertheless Masupha attacked 
him and carried off three thousand head of horned cattle 

1868] Attitude of Natal, 317 

and nine thousand sheep. The followers of the same chief 
next plundered the waggon of an English trader who 
ventured to enter the Lesuto without their leave. Skir- 
mishes with the Free State forces were frequent. In one 
of these, Lerothodi, Bereng, and a third son of Letsie were 
severely wounded, and a minor brother of these chiefs was 

While all was thus in confusion and the bond that 
united the Lesuto to the British empire was liable to be 
snapped at any moment, the Natal government was putting 
forth strenuous efiorts to secure its annexation to that 
colony. On the 31st of July the legislative council passed a 
resolution that in the opinion of that house such annexation 
was highly desirable, " provided it be understood that it is 
not to remain purely a native colony, but that certain 
portions of the land be made available for white settlers ; 
and provided also that such revenue be raised from it as 
shall render it at least self-supporting." Lieutenant-Governor 
Keate thereupon wrote to the secretary of state, urging that 
the boundary of 1864 should be adhered to, and that in 
addition Witsi's Hoek, which he asserted had always been 
Basuto territory, should be taken over, and the whole be 
incorporated with Natal. The addition of Witsi's Hoek 
would make communication easy and unbroken between 

all parts of the country from the Free State border to the 

A few days after this dispatch was written by Mr. Keate, 
the mail reached Capetown with the secretary of state's 
authority for the high commissioner to deal with the question 
as he should think best. Sir Philip Wodehouse immediately 
communicated this information to President Brand, and 
invited him to offer terms for discussion, to which the presi- 
dent replied that he must await the report of Messrs. Van 
de Wall and De Villiers. It was the middle of December 
before the result of the meetino: of the deleg^ates with the 
secretary of state was officially known, when the high 
commissioner again wrote stating that he would be at Aliwal 

3i8 History of the Orange Free State. [1869 

North not later than the 1st of February 1869, and hoped 
to find the president willing to enter into negotiations. 

The Free State government then realised how entirely 
it was at Sir Philip Wodehouse's mercy. Its supplies of 
ammunition were cut oif, while traders were disposing of 
powder and shot to the Basuto with hardly an attempt at 
concealment. Raids were frequently made into the Free 
State from beyond the Thaba Bosigo line, and the burgher 
commandos could not cross that line in pursuit without 
defying the British authorities. Under these circumstances 
the volksraad was convened for the 13th of January. 
Immediately after it met it resolved to appoint commis- 
sioners to treat with Sir Philip Wodehonse, and instructed 
the president to make the preliminary arrangements. 

On the 4th of February 1869, nearly eleven months after 
the Basuto had been proclaimed British subjects, the high 
commissioner and the deputies of the Free State met in 
conference in Mr. Halse's house at Aliwal North. There 
were present to represent the Free State, President Brand, 
Advocate Hamelberg, and Messrs. J. J. Venter, C. J. de 
Villiers, and A. J. Bester, members of the volksraad. All 
correspondence since the proclamation of the 12th of March 
1868 was considered as withdrawn, and it v/as arranged that 
negotiations should be commenced on a clear field. 

The Free State claimed first a boundary line according 
to the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. 

The high commissioner objected, and proposed instead a 
boundary as before the war of 1865. in which case the Free 
State might retain any amounts already received for land 
sold beyond it, and he would undertake to pay the sum of 
£50,000, which he would raise by the sale of farms. 

The Free State refused this offer, and proposed instead 
to cede a small tract of land on its side of the Thaba Bosigo 

The high commissioner declined, on the ground that the 
cession would be insufficient to meet the needs of the Basuto ; 
but offered t. line from Kornet Spruit along the Langebergen 

1869] Second Convention of Aliwal Noi^h, 3^9 

to Jammerberg Drift on the Caledon (the present south- 
western boundary), further the Caledon river up to Jack- 
man's Drift, and thence a line enclosing a triangular piece 
of territory in which the two former mission stations of 
Mekuatling and Mabolela were situated. 

The Free State agreed to the boundary between the 
Caledon and Kornet Spruit, but declined to give up the 
triangular tract west of the Caledon. 

The high commissioner then proposed the Caledon river 
from Jammerberg Drift to its source, provided the volksraad 
would consent to Molapo becoming a British subject and the 
district occupied by him between the Putiatsana and the 
Caledon becoming British territory. 

The Free State would ao:ree if the high commissioner 
would pay £20,000 towards the war expenses. 

The high commissioner declined to pay anything. He 
refused also to keep old animosities alive by surrendering 
the murderers of Bush and Krynauw, as the Free State 
wished him to do. 

The discussion was carried on for a full week before all 
matters were arranged. Finally a convention was drafted 
by Mr. Hamelberg, slightly altered by Sir Philip Wodehouse, 
and signed on the 12th of February. It fixed the boundary 
as at present from Kornet Spruit to the junction of the 
Putiatsana and the Caledon ; permitted Molapo to become a 
British subject on his making a written request to that 
effect to the volksraad, when the district between the 
Putiatsana and the Caledon was to become part of British 
Basutoland ; gave such Basuto as were on the Free State 
side of the Caledon until the 31st of July to cross that 
river, after which date they could be expelled by force ; 
and secured to the French mission society as property 
which it could hold under Free State jurisdiction, or sell if 
it should choose to do so, fifteen hundred morgen of ground 
at each of its former stations Mekuatling and Mabolela. 
The thirteenth article of the convention provided for sub- 
mitting to arbitration the claims of the Free State for 

320 History of Basutoland, [1869 

pecuniar}^ compensation for the ground between the new 
boundary and that fixed by the treaty of Thaba Bosigo. 
And lastly, there was a clause that the volksraad might 
adopt, instead of this convention, the first proposal of the 
high commissioner, namely, the line of 1864 with a money 
payment of £50,000 and the proceeds of the farms already 

When the convention was .signed, the high commissioner 
appointed Messrs. J. H. Bowker and H. J. Halse, with Mr. 
J. X. Merriman as land-surveyor, to act with the Free State 
delegates in marking out and planting beacons along the 
new line between Kornet Spruit and the Caledon. They 
found the line an excellent natural boundary for the greater 
portion of the distance, consisting as it did of well-defined 
ranges of hills with streams running in both directions.* 

His Excellency then set out for the Lesuto, and, arrived 
at Korokoro on the 19th of February. The chiefs with their 
followers were already commencing to assemble there, and 
on Monday the 22nd a great meeting took place. At half- 
past ten in the morning Sir Philip Wodehouse took a seat 
in the shade of a great rock, having with him Mr, Bowker, 
his agent in Basutoland, Sub-Inspector Surmon, of the 
frontier armed and mounted police, and Mr. Cripps, his 
private secretary. At his left hand were seated Letsie, 
Molapo, and Masupha, the three sons of Moshesh by his 
great wife. On his right were the reverend Messrs. Mabille, 
Jousse, Maitin, Keck, Duvoisin, and Dr. Casalis, of the 
French Protestant mission, Dr. Allard and the reverend Mr. 
Gerard, of the Roman Catholic mission, and a few other 
Europeans. Before him were grouped the minor chiefs 
Molitsane, Lesawana, Nehemiah, Sophonia, George, Tsekelo, 

*It is as follows : — From the junction of Kornet Spruit with the Orange 
river along the centre of the former to the point nearest to Olifants Been, 
from that point by Olifants Been to the southern point of Langeberg, 
along the top of Langeberg to its north-western extremity, thence to 
the eastern point of Jammerberg, along the top of Jammerberg to its 
north-western extremity, and thence by a prolongation of the same line 
00 the Caledon river. 

[869] HI ee ting tvith Bastiio Chiefs. 321 

and many others, with two or three thousand attendants 
behind them or posted wherever a footing was to be had on 
the face of the rock. Moshesh was too feeble to leave his 
residence on Thaba Bosigo. 

The object of the meeting was to make the chiefs and 
people acquainted with the arrangements entered into at 
Aliwal North, and to secure their ratification of the conven- 
tion, which was as much needed as that of the secretary of 
state or the volksraad. Through the reverend Mr. Mabille, 
who acted as interpreter, the high commissioner explained to 
the people assembled that he had secured for them as good 
terms as they could reasonably expect, that the territory 
within the new boundary was ample for their requirements 
as he would make provision in Nomansland for the clans 
that had migrated to that country during the war, and that 
their future fortunes rested with themselves. 

Molitsane was the only one of the chiefs who openly 
objected to the arrangement. He demurred to giving up his 
old location west of the Caledon, but ceased opposition when 
the high commissioner promised him the district vacated by 
Makwai. Of the three sons of Moshesh by his great wife= 
Molapo was the one whose power was weakened most by the 
substitution of the line of the Caledon for that of 1864, and 
he made no open complaints, but confined his remarks to a 
request that he might be received as a British subject. After 
full discussion, the chiefs and missionaries professed to con- 
cur in the view that the settlement was as satisfactory as 
under the circumstances they could hope for, and the 
leading chiefs promised to carry it out. 

The high commissioner then announced that as soon as 
the convention was ratified by the Imperial and Free State 
governments magistrates would be appointed, when he hoped 
an era of order and prosperity would be entered upon. The 
people v/ould be required to pay the hut - tax already agreed 
to, but in consideration of the circumstances of the country 
it would be optional with each man to contribute in money, 
grain, or live stock. The high commissioner would hencs- 

VOL. IV. ^ 

322 History of Basutoland. [1869 

forth exercise the right of assigning ground to clans and in- 
dividuals, a right always held and acted upon by the supreme 
authority in every tribe. The country would be divided 
into three districts, in each of which one of the principal 
chiefs would be stationed. 

To none of these announcements was there any objection 
made, but every one who spoke at all agreed to them. 

Next day Sir Philip Wodehouse visited Moshesh, who 
was as profuse of thanks and expressions of satisfaction as 
he had always been on similar occasions. He was, however, 
so feeble in mind and body that not much value could be 
attached to what he said. 

The high commissioner then issued a few simple trading 
regulations, in which the charges for licenses were fixed at 
£10 a year or £1 a month, and in which the sale of intoxi- 
cating liquor was prohibited under penalty of a fine not ex- 
ceeding £10 for the first ofience and loss of license for the 
second, together with forfeiture of all spirits in possession 
of the trader. The police in the Lesuto, one hundred men 
in all, were distributed in four camps, one on the Orange 
river, one on Kornet Spruit, and two on the Caledon, 
with the object of suppressing cattle lifting. 

As nothing further could be done until the ratification 
of the convention, the high commissioner left Thaba Bosigo, 
and passing through rich fields of ripening corn to the 
Orange river, he made his way over the Drakensberg into 
Nomansland. There he assigned locations to the emigrant 
Basuto chiefs Makwai and Lebenya, as also to the Hlubi 
chief Zibi and the Batlokua chief Lehana. On the way 
down he had an interview with Morosi, who requested to be 
allowed to cast in his lot with the rest of the Basuto tribe. 
The high commissioner, however, doubted his sincerity, and 
told him he must take time to consider the matter. 

It had become necessary to select a site for the permanent 
residence of the high commissioner's agent, and as Korokoro 
was in many respects unsuitable, in March 1869 Mr. Bowker 
moved to Maseru, a much better situation. 

1869] opposition to the Settlement, 323 

Notwithstanding the nominal assent of the chiefs to 
the new boundary, in reality most of them were bitterly 
disappointed with it. They had imagined that on their 
becoming British subjects Sir Philip Wodehouse would use 
his power to recover for the tribe all the country that had 
once been Moshesh's. Their discontent was fanned by Mr. 
Buchanan, who represented to them that they had been 
grievously wronged, and that if they would send him to 
England as their agent he would probably be able to prevent 
the ratification of the convention and obtain for them all the 
land within the old boundary. 

Sir Philip Wodehouse's back was hardly turned upon the 
Lesuto when intrigues were set on foot to reverse what he 
had done. Molapo, Nehemiah, and Tsekelo were busy openly 
stirring up disaffection, and many others were secretly 
working with them. Letters were written by Tsekelo for 
his father, promising to collect three hundred and eighty 
head of cattle to defray the cost of an embassy to England, 
and asking Mr. Buchanan to go himself and plead with the 
queen. Molapo sent Makotoko, his principal counsellor, with 
Tsekelo to Natal, to confer with Mr. Buchanan there. Letsie 
alone among the chiefs, though he was cautiously trying how 
far he could ignore Mr, Bowker, would have nothing to do 
with the movement, for he could not possibly gain anything 
by it, and might lose much. 

The reverend Mr. Daumas was then living in Natal, His 
judgment seems to have been warped by the troubles he 
had gone through and by disappointment that his station 
of Mekuatling, where he had lived and laboured for twenty- 
eight years, had not been restored to him.* His colleagues 

*That he was suffering from aberration of mind is placed almost beyond 
doubt by the evidence afforded by a map and certain information which he 
furnished to the government of Natal, and which the imperial government 
published in a bluebook. That this "good and gentle old father," as 
the writer has heard Mr. Daumas described by more than one who was 
intimately acquainted with him, prepared a map so misleading as the one 
referred to and which is at complete variance with former productions 
of his own associates, can be satisfactorily accounted for in no other way. 

324 History of Basutoland. [1869 

in the Lesuto, though deeply grieved that the new boundary 
did not include Mekuatling and Mabolela on the north and 
Hebron * and Poortje on the south, were willing to accept 
the situation, and indeed expressed an opinion that their 
efforts to christianise the Basuto would be advanced rather 
than retarded by the change that had taken place. Without 
their concurrence Mr. Dauinas entered into Mr. Buchanan's 

A memorial, praying the secretary of state to advise the 
queen not to ratify the convention, was prepared in Natal, 
and though only sixteen signatures could be obtained to it, 
was forwarded through the lieutenant-governor. Prepara- 
tions were hurried on, and without waiting for the 
contribution in cattle which Moshesh had promised, in 
April Messrs. Buchanan and Daumas sailed for England, 
taking Tsekelo with them. 

Mr. Bowker, who described the situation as one of 
" treason on every side/' now endeavoured to take the first 
step towards the restoration of order. This was the re- 
moval of Molitsane from the neighbourhood of Mekuatling 
to the district along tlie new south-western boundary which 
had been left vacant by the emigration of Makwai. When 
called upon to move, Molitsane made various excuses. He 
asserted that Moshesh had ordered him either to remain 
where he was or to join Moperi in Witsi's Hoek. Mr. 
Bov/ker informed him that if he did not move at once 
the vacant district would be given to Fingos from the 
Wittebergen reserve, and he would be left, without assist- 
ance or a place of refuge, to meet the Free State forces 

That he was a simple tool in the hands of one of stronger will has been 
advanced as an explanation by one who was thoroughly conversant with 
the whole matter, but this seems to me rather to corroborate than to 
disprove the view here given, and which was lield by his most intimate 

* On the 13th of June 1866 by a resolution of the volksraad this station, 
under the name Yerliesfontein, had been restored to Mr. Jan de Winnaar, 
upon condition of his giving up the farm Vlakfontein, which he had 
received as compensation for it after the war of 1858. 

1869] * opposition to the Settlement. 325 

when the term of grace accorded by the Aliwal convention 
should expire. Molitsane* then pretended to submit, and 
without further loss of time abandoned the district which 
he had occupied since 1S37, and moved to the location 
assigned to him. His sons, however, remained in the 

After the departure of Messrs. Buchanan and Daumas with 
Tsekelo, the different chiefs began to vie with each other in 
protestations of fidelity to the British government and 
submission to the orders of the hiojh commissioner's assent. 
Moshesh, Letsie, Masupha, the principal minor chiefs, even 
Molapo, sent messages denying that they had anything to do 
with the mission to England. Their object was apparent : 
to keep in Sir Philip Wodehouse's favour if the mission 
should fail, to profit by it should it prove successful. Mr. 
Bowker, who knew exactly what value to place upon the 
assurances of the chiefs, looked around for some means of 
governing the country, and eventually concluded that the 
simplest plan would be to introduce a body of Fingos and 
locate them upon the vacant lands. On inspection he found 
that there was plenty of room for a large number of such 
immigrants, and they could be depended upon to support 
the British authorities. He proposed to the high commis- 
sioner that a beginninsj should be made with Josana, but 
upon inquiry that petty chief was found to have too small 
a following to be of any service, and before the plan could 
be carried further the course of events was changed. 

In May Messrs Buchanan and Daumas, with Tsekelo, 
arrived in England, and at once set about securing sup- 
porters among those benev^olent individuals whose sympathy 
with distress cannot be too highly extolled, but whose very 
virtues often expose them to be made the means of doing 
great wrongs. The Aborigines Protection Society took them 
by the hand, and soon the prominent mission societies in 
England and Scotland were aiding and abetting them. 

* He was then a very old man, but still in possession of all his faculties. 
He died on the 2nd of October 1885, at the age of fully one hundred years. 


26 History of Basutoland, [1869 

These philanthropic people were told that Sir Philip 
Wodehouse was taking away from a simple and almost 
defenceless tribe the greater portion of the territory which 
it bad inherited from its ancestors, and was giving the land 
to cruel and rapacious Europeans who were despoilers of 
churches and scorners of the rights of coloured people. 
They did not imagine that in reality they were being asked 
to aid in perpetuating anarchy and crime. Without that 
close inquiry which alone could enable them to arrive at 
the truth, they accepted statements which agreed with 
preconceived opinions, and shortly that vast machinery 
which philanthropy can put in motion in England was at 
work to oppose Sir Philip Wodehouse's settlement of the 
Basuto diflSculty. 

The secretary of state for the colonies, upon a request 
from the directors of the Paris mission society that he 
would grant an audience to Mr. Daumas, and a similar 
request from Mr. Buchanan on his own behalf, consented 
to an interview. It took place on the 22nd of June. 
Messrs. Buchanan, Daumas, and Tsekelo were accompanied 
by several members of the imperial parliament. They laid 
before Earl Granville a memorial signed by seventeen 
members of the house of commons and the secretary of the 
Aborigines Protection Society, setting forth Mr. Buchanan's 
views, and praying that her Majesty's government would 
annul the convention of Aliwal North. The secretary of 
state hereupon wrote to the high commissioner, expressing 
full confidence in him, but asking for further explanations. 

While the delay in bringing about a settlement was thus 
prolonged, the Lesuto remained a scene of confusion and 
violence. The only revenue that could be collected was in 
the form of licenses from European traders, which brought 
in no more than £6 or £7 monthly. Mr. Bowker was with- 
out any real power, and each chief was acting independently 
of central control. 

Ramanela, ever a prime mover in deeds of violence, had 
continued depredations upon the Free State farmers, without 

1869I opposition to the Settlement, 327 

any regard for the high commissioners proclamation and 
subsequent instructions. Molapo offered to chastise him, 
but President Brand would not consent to his doing so 
while he remained a Free State subject. Mr. Bowker, how- 
ever, authorised Molapo to punish the robber, which he did 
by falling upon him and seizing about a thousand head of 

At the end of July the country on the Free State side of 
the Caledon was still as fully occupied by Basuto as it had 
been in March 1868. Molitsane himself had moved to 
Makwai's old kraal, but his sons were still in the Korana- 
berg. Parties of Basuto were even crossing from their own 
side and settling on the other. 

The high commissioner's position was made more difficult 
by the action of the Cape parliament. The frontier police 
under Mr. Bowker in the Lesuto had been reduced to 
thirty-six men, and if they were withdrawn there would be 
no representatives of the British government left, for there 
was no revenue out of which salaries could be paid. Under 
these circumstances the legislative council requested the 
high commissioner to give " such information as would show 
that the employment of a portion of the frontier police in 
Basutoland was of colonial importance and necessary to its 
security." The house of assembly, after a lengthy and warm 
discussion in which the greatest sympathy was expressed 
with the Free State, passed a resolution by a majority of 
twenty-seven to six, in which it repudiated the idea that 
Basutoland could be regarded as a part of the frontier, or 
as a territory to be defended, except temporarily, by the 
armed and mounted police, the finances of the colony being 
wholly inadequate to sustain such a charge for any length 
of time. The high commissioner could only reply that the 
police would be withdrawn without any unnecessary delay. 

Sir Philip Wodehonse's explanations to the secretary of 
state showed with how little justice he could be accused of 
wronging the Basuto. He had recovered for them so much 
more ground than they needed that his agent in the country 

328 History of Basutoland, [1869 

was proposing to introduce Fingos to fill it and create a 
balance of power, while Moshesh — i.e. his minor sons acting 
in his name — was actually at this very time renewino* 
overtures to Jan Letele's people and other subjects ot* the 
Free State to come in and ally themselves with his tribe. 
Mr. Bowker computed that there would not be more than 
five thousand individuals affected by the substitution of the 
Caledon for the boundary of 1864, but this number was 
certainly too small. 

The secretary of state, being satisfied on these points, next 
raised an objection to the thirteenth article of the conven- 
tion, which provided for the submission to arbitration of 
the claims of the Free State for payment for the land re- 
stored to the Basuto. He was not prepared to make any 
compensation, and if this article was insisted upon by the 
Free State, the convention must be annulled. If it were 
expunged he would advise her Majesty to ratify the 
remaining clauses. 

As early as the 5th of May the volksraad had ratified 
the convention. Only one member voted against it, that 
one preferring Sir Philip Wodehouse's alternative, — the 
boundary of 1864 with a body of farmers under English 
rule behind it, and the payment of £50,000 in money 
And now that the question was opened again, the presi- 
dent, in order to promote a settlement, consented to the 
thirteenth article being expunged. 

The chief Letsie, to whose interest it was, more than to 
that of any other individual in the country, to be under 
British protection, became alarmed when he heard that there 
was a possibility of the convention being set aside. His 
father was too infirm to take an active part in afiairs. His 
brother Molapo was in a position of independence of the 
other Basuto. He himself was not yet recognised as para- 
mount chief. If the convention were annulled, and the war 
were renewed, he would certainly be ruined. " In fear and 
astonishment " therefore, as he caused to be written, he had 
a memorial drawn up to the secretary of state. In it he 

1869] Oppositio7t to the Settlement, 329 

declared that he was fully satisfied with the arrangements 
made by Sir Pliiiip Wodehouse, ignored anjT- connection 
with the mission of Mr. Buchanan and Tsekelo, and prayed 
that the English government would not withdraw its pro- 
tection. The document was signed by Letsie himself, his 
eldest son Lerothodi, and his sub-chiefs and counsellors. 

Before this memorial could reach England, Mr. Buchanan 
had lost favour with Earl Granville. In his conceit he spoke 
of "his intention to lay waste the Free State," and of 
" the peace of the Free State being a great deal more in 
his hands than in those of the high commissioner." In 
violent language he abused Sir Philip Wodehouse, and 
brought charges against him which Earl Granville knew to 
be contrary to fact. In reply he was curtly informed that 
Earl Granville " apprehended the law would be found to 
forbid such proceedings (as those he contemplated), and that 
it would probably be put in force by the authorities of the 
Free State and by those of the neighbouring British 
colonies." And instructions were sent to the lieutenant- 
governor of Natal to prevent him from carrying out his 
threats. This rebuff did not silence him, however, and he 
continued to make the most extravagant complaints 
accompanied by statements altogether misleading. 

Unfortunately most of the leading missionary associations 
in Great Britain, as well as the Paris society, had alreadj^ 
adopted Mr. Buchanan's views, and were pressing them upon 
the secretary of state. One name especially was mixed up 
with these proceedings which every true-hearted man would 
fain blot out if truth did not ^forbid it, — the name of the 
venerable Dr. Duff, the celebrated Indian missionary of the 
Free church of Scotland. Dr. Duff had made a short visit 
to the mission stations in the Lesuto in 1864, at the 
time when the Free State was intent only on preserving a 
boundary line which three English governors — Sir Harry 
Smith, Sir George Grey, and Sir Philip Wodehouse — had 
laid down. The Basuto had invaded and taken possession 
of land far beyond that line, and all that the Free State 

33^ History of Basutoland, [1870 

desired was that they should withdraw within it. Naturally, 
under such circumstances, the feeling between the two races 
was not friendly. Yet Dr. Duff, who was not long enough 
in the country to correct earlier prejudices, and who heard 
only the Basuto version of the story, could write that he 
was " forced to the conclusion that the Boers were the chief 
aggressors," and that he *' fervently trusted the convention 
would not be ratified." 

Owing to so many obstructions, it was only at the close 
of December 1869 that the convention was ratified by her 
Majesty's government. The despatch conveying this informa- 
tion had already reached Sir Philip Wodehouse when 
another memorial was presented to the secretary of state. 
It was signed by Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Alfred Churchill, 
sixteen members of the house of commons, General Shaw, 
Sir J&mes Alexander, Dr. DufF as convener of missions of 
the Free church of Scotland, Dr. Mullins as foreign 
secretary of the London Missionary Society, Mr. James 
Davis as secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, and Mr. F. 
W. Chesson as secretary of the Aborigines Protection 
Society. It was a statement of the views held by those 
gentlemen, such as can only be ascribed to defective in- 
formation, and a prayer that the convention of Aliwal 
should not be ratified. Earl Granville replied that after 
receiving detailed explanations from Sir Philip Wodehouse, 
the convention had been approved of some weeks before. 

On the 10th of March 1870 the document as amended 
was signed in Capetown by Mr, P^ G. van der Byl, as agent 
for the Orange Free State. There still remained the for- 
mality that the volksraad should concur in the president's 
approval of the thirteenth article being expunged, v/hich 
they did on the 3rd of the following May Owing to the 
treaty of September 1858 having been drawn up at the 
same place, this document, as now finally confirmed by all 
parties, is officially termed the second treaty or convention 
of Aliwal North. 







Bup^iti , iinder the 

f Morose ocjoupied 
district of Qiithirw. 







Discovery of Diamonds and its consequences 

In a previous chapter it was stated that Mr. David Arnot, 
a^ent-at-law, on behalf of the Griqua captain Nicholas 
Waterboer laid claim to the Campbell district, west of the 
Vaal river, and also to a large strip of territory east of the 
Vaal, that had formed part of the European section of 
the Orange River Sovereignty and was transferred by Sir 
George Clerk to the assembly that established the Orange 
Free State. The Griqua clan under Nicholas Waterboer 
has not been mentioned frequently in these pages, because 
after 1848 it took no part in any event of importance. 
With Andries Waterboer, father of Nicholas, a treaty had 
been made by Sir Benjamin D'Urban in December 1834, 
in which the chief undertook " to protect that portion of 
the colonial border opposite to his own, namely the line 
from Kheis on the Orange river to Kamah, against all 
enemies and marauders from the interior who might 
attempt to pass through his territory." This treaty origin- 
ated with the missionaries of the London society, who 
were desirous of securino^ for Waterboer the recosfnised 
position of captain of Griquatown. He had been a teacher 
in one of their schools, and was elected to be captain of 
the station when the Koks and Barend Barends moved 
away to other localities. 

In the treaty of 1834 there is no definition of boundaries 
except that in the clause above quoted, and indeed the 
government not of Andries Waterboer only, but of all the 


33^ History of the Orange Free State, 

Griqua captains, was at that time tribal rather than terri- 
torial. The Griquas, who were the latest intruders, did not 
claim or attempt to exercise jurisdiction over the Korana 
and Batlapin clans among whom they were living, and who 
had for many years been wandering about in the territory 
west of the Vaal. In the treaty it was necessary to define 
the extent of border along which Andries Waterboer under- 
took to perform police duty in return for a certain 
consideration, and so the line frem Kheis to Ramah was 
named. At that time the Griquas had outposts south of 
the Orange, and in Sir Benjamin D'Ur ban's despatches to 
the secretary of state he expressly mentions that they were 
occupying both banks of the river. 

In a conversation with several of the captains, Sir 
Peregrine Maitland stated that Waterboer's country might 
adjoin that of Adam Kok, and Kok's western boundary 
had then been fixed by treaty from Ramah on the Orange 
to David's Graf at the junction of the Riet and Modder. 
But whether Waterboer could claim along the whole of that 
line, or only along the southern portion of it, was not 
decided. Owing to there being no Europeans in the district 
which his clan occupied, and no likelihood of any ever 
trying to settle there or to pass through in search of vacant 
land beyond. Dr. Philip and the colonial government did not 
consider it necessary to make any fresh arrangements with 
hun v/hen the treaty states under Adam Kok, Moshesh, and 
Faku were created. 

Sir Harry Smith treated Andries Waterboer in the same 
common-sense manner as he treated Adam Kok, Cornelis 
Kok, and Moshesh. He took from none of them anything 
to which they had a moral right or of which they were 
making proper use ; but he deprived all of them of large 
tracts of land to which they had no other title than ex- 
pressions of preceding governors made in ignorance of their 
history, or treaties that had produced nothing but discord 
and bloodshed. Adam Kok and Moshesh were induced by 
him to attach their names to agreements which destroyed 

Accotmt of Nicholas Waterboer. 333 

the treaty states ; Cornells Kok and Andries Waterboer 
were dealt with on the same principle, but as there was no 
treaty with one o£ them and the treaty with the other did 
not define any boundaries, it was not necessary to obtain 
their consent in writing to new arrangements. On the 
17th of December 1847 Sir Harry Smith issued a proclama- 
tion, without the slightest reference to Andries Waterboer, 
in which the Cape Colony was extended to the Orange 
river along its whole course ; and on the 3rd of February 
1848 he proclaimed her Majesty's sovereignty over the entire 
territory between the Orange and the Vaal, without any 
reofard to either Cornells Kok or Andries Waterboer. 

No right of property was disturbed by these proclama- 
tions. Whatever land in the country south of the Orange 
and east of the Vaal was in possession of individuals — 
which was y&Yy little indeed — remained to thorn to retain 
or to sell as they chose ; but the dominion of these two 
Griqua captains and their councils was there replaced by 
that of her Majesty's government. The captains were not 
deposed, nor were their rights of dominion in any way 
disturbed in the districts where they resided and where 
their people — with very few exceptions — lived. These 
districts were north of the Orange and west of the Vaal. 
Cornells Kok remained with sovereign power over his 
retainers at Campbell, and Andries Waterboer remained 
with the same powers at Griquatown. 

In December 1852 Andries Waterboer died. The people 
of Griquatown then elected his son Nicholas as his successor, 
and applied to the high commissioner for a renewal with 
him of the treaty of 1834. But this the high commissioner 
declined. The treaty of 1834 was personal, they were 
informed, and ceased to be of effect upon the death of the 
captain with whom it had been made. The policy of the 
imperial government at this time was entirely opposed to 
such treaties. 

The Free State government acted towards Nicholas Water- 
boer in a most considerate manner. The volksraad approved, 

334 History of the Orange Free State. 

with a slight alteration, of the boundary laid down by Adam 
Kok as arbitrator between his district and that of Cornelis 
Kok in October 1855, and thereafter he wgis treated not only 
as owner but as sovereign of the territory east of the Vaal 
enclosed by the Orange river, the line from Ramah towards 
David's Graf, and the Yetberg line. 

Waterboer's people at this time were retrograding in 
civilisation. They never were in the advanced state of 
improvement described in mission reports of earlier years, 
but they bad once been in possession of a large amount of 
property. Such prosperity as they had enjoyed a genera- 
tion before had now nearly disappeared, owing partly to 
causes beyond their control, partly to their conceit and 

The territory occupied by the clan is a continuation of 
the great plain stretching westward from the Maluti range, 
though portions of its surface are broken by ranges of hills. 
The plain becomes more arid as one advances westward, 
and the pasturage gradually gets thinner until finally the 
desert is reached. There is not a single permanently 
flowing river in the whole district of Griquatown. Along 
the Orange, which is its southern boundary, a strip of land 
some ten miles or sixteen kilometres in breadth is an 
absolute desert. The soil elsewhere consists, in general, 
of only a few inches of sand overlying strata impenetrable 
by rain. It is, therefore, a country in which agriculture 
cannot be carried on, except in a few situations where 
there are fountains or where the water that occasionally 
falls in torrents can be conserved. For some reason, as 
yet unexplained, the country has been drying up, and 
fountains which the first missionaries found yielding water 
sufficient to irrigate large areas of ground do not now rise 
to the surface. 

It is a region of protracted droughts and terrible electrical 
storms. When rain falls, it is often in a destructive deluge, 
and is usually confined to a narrow belt, A bank of vapour, 
whose blackness is intensified by streaks of the most vivid 

Account of Wate7'boer s Griquas. 335 

lightning playing upon it, is seen rapidly advancing over the 
plain. The air is oppressively calm and hot, and as the 
storm-cloud rushes on, in advance may be heard a low 
moaning sound, caused by the vibrations which it communi- 
cates to the atmosphere. Beneath the cloud water is falling, 
not in drops but in sheets, while the roar of thunder is 
almost continuous and deafening. In the midst of a storm 
like this the stoutest heart is appalled, and even wild 
animals are helpless with fear. In from five minutes to an 
hour the bank passes over, and leaves behind it miniature 
lakes in every hollow and gullies on every slope. Several 
years may pass without such a storm, but very grand elec- 
trical displays, in whdch no rain falls, are frequent. In the 
summer season much discomfort is often caused by sand 
and dust being caught up by whirlwinds and blown about 
until the air is darkened. Under such conditions, the con- 
struction of reservoirs for storing water requires an amount 
of engineering skill beyond that which the Griqua is capable 
of acquiring. 

But these people never depended upon agriculture. The 
ten or a dozen gardens, and orchards, and rows of trees 
along watercourses, of which glowing accounts can be found 
in mission reports, were really due to the labour of the 
missionaries themselves and of a few blacks who had been 
slaves in the Cape Colony. The early prosperity of the 
Griquas was derived from the chase. For many years after 
their settlement at Klaarwater or Griquatown, they were 
without rivals in this pursuit, than which nothing could be 
more congenial to their habits* With ivory, ostrich feathers, 
whips of hippopotamus and rhinoceros hide, and skins of 
lions, jackals, and other animals, they obtained in the Cape 
Colony waggons, rifles, ammunition, English clothing, coffee, 
sugar, and whatever else they needed or had a fancy for. 
The dried flesh of antelopes was their principal food. Their 
excursions in pursuit of game extended far into the heart 
of South Africa, and often lasted five or six months. In 
these expeditions the women usually accompanied their 

336 History of the Orange Free State, 

husbands, though the children were left behind under care 
of some aged relative, and lived mainly upon milk until 
their parents' return. 

This wndition of prosperity lasted until European hunters 
— chiefly those of Zoiitpansberg — supplanted the Griquas in 
the interior, and all the large game in their neighbourhood 
was destroyed. An enterprising people would then have 
turned their attention to breeding sheep and oxen, but this 
branch of industry was generally neglected. Tliose who 
tried it became disheartened on the outbreak of a new 
disease which destroyed great numbers of horned cattle. 
Traders were now among them, with Cape brandy as the 
principal article for sale, and what property was left soon 
disappeared. Indolence, almost surpassing description, and 
conceit, born of past prosperity and fostered by the thought 
that they had a tinge of European blood in their veins, 
prevented them from making any effort to improve their 
condition. In 1870 some five or six hundred individuals 
of both sexes and ail ages, most of whom were steeped in 
poverty and wretchedness, constituted the Griqua clan under 
Nicholas Waterboer. Any influence that they once had 
with the Koranas and Batlapin in that part of the country 
had long since been lost, and there was no possibility of 
their ever regaining it. 

The clan occupied the territory called the district of 
Griquatown, which v/as north of the Orange and west of 
the Vaal. Some of the Batlapin chiefs asserted that they 
were the proper owners of it, as tliey had taken it from 
the Bushmen before the arrival of either Koranas or 
Griquas, but no white man disputed the Griqua right, or 
attempted to get possession of land there. 

Waterboer's sovereignty was also undisputed in the 
district east of the Yaal, and enclosed by the Yetberg line, 
the line from Ramah towards David's Graf, and the Orange 
river. This tract of country had recently acquired the 
name of Albania, and was partly occupied by white people 
under a plan of settlement devised by Mr. Arnot. 

Claims of Mr. David ArnoL 337 

lu January 18G7 circulars were issued in Waterboer's 
name in and about Grahamstown, offering farms of three 
thousand morgen in extent on lease for twenty-one years, at 
rentals varying from £5 to £25 a year, according to the 
quality of the land. The leases were to be renewable on the 
same terms for as long a period as the occupants or their 
heirs or successors might choose. A council of lessees was 
practically to form a governm.ent, though public documents 
were to run in Waterboer's name. A portion of the rents 
was to be at the disposal of the council for public purposes. 
This plan of settlement w^as intended to give Waterboer a 
revenue until the occupiers of the farms might choose to 
repudiate him, and under any circumstances he could lose 
nothing except his sovereignty over ground which his own 
people were too few and too feeble to make use of. 

Some ten or a dozen Englislimen accepted the terms 
offered, and took up their abode in Albania. To this, no 
reasonable objection could be offered by anyone. When 
issuing his circulars, however, Mr. Arnot attached a map to 
them, in which Waterboer's territory was made to comprise 
not only the districts of Griquatown and Albania, which 
really belonged to him, but the district of Campbell, west of 
the Vaal and adjoining Griquatown, and portions of the 
districts of Boshof and Jacobsdal, east of the Vaal and in- 
cluded in the Orange Free State from the day it came into 
existence. This was brought to the notice of the govern- 
ment at Bloemfontein, and on the 14th of March 1867 an 
advertisement was inserted in the newspapers by the state 
secretary — Mr. J. C. Nielen Marais — warning all persons 
against having anything to do with the scheme. 

The territory east of the Vaal and north of Albania, which 
Mr. Arnot claimed for Waterboer, having formed part of 
the European section of the Sovereignty from 1848 to 1854 
and having been transferred in 1854 by Sir George Clerk 
to the provisional government which established the Orange 
Free State, was not regarded by President Brand and the 
volksraad as subject to dispute. The Vetberg line, however, 

yoL. IV. z 

33S History of the Orange Free State. [1869 

which separated it from Albania, was not marked by beacons 
along its whole course as clearly as it should have been. 
On the 12th of May 1869, therefore, the volksraad approved 
of a commission being appointed by the president to examine 
it and define it distinctly, in conjunction with persons named 
by Waterboer. Messrs. C. W. Hutton, F. McCabe, and D. J. 
van Niekerk were chosen to form the commission. On his 
part, Waterboer agreed to a meeting on the 31st of May at 
Swinkspan, one of the three farms which Adam Kok allotted 
to him when laying down the Yetberg line in 1855, but 
which the government of the Free State kept possession of, 
as it was held under a British title issued in 1849. The 
farm was included in the district of Jacobsdal. 

But when the commission reached the place appointed, 
Waterboer did not appear. In his stead, Mr. Arnot was 
there, and he repudiated the Yetberg line altogether. For 
his client he asserted a claim to all that portion of the Free 
State situated west of a line from David's Graf near the 
junction of the Riet and Modder rivers to Platberg on the 
Yaal river, stating that it had once been under the govern- 
ment of Waterboer's father, and that no one but he had a 
right to dispose of it. The Free State commission did not 
attempt to argue the matter, as they might as well have 
discussed the ownership of the market square of Bloem- 
fontein. Instead, they proceeded to erect beacons along the 
Yetberg line, William Corner, who was Cornelis Kok's son- 
in-law and who was present when Adam Kok acted as 
arbitrator in October 1855, pointing out the boundary then 
made wherever it was doubtful. 

The other tract of land claimed by Mr, Arnot on behalf 
of Nicholas Waterboer was the Campbell district, west of 
the Yaal. The Griqua pretensions to the ownership ^f this 
ground were treated with every consideration by the presi- 
dent and the volksraad of the Orange Free State, as the 
title on which their own claim was based — the deed of sale 
by Adam Kok as heir of Cornelis Kok — was open to dispute, 
though they believed their case was a good one. In 1864 

1870] Claims of Mr. David A mot. 339 

Sir Philip Wodehouse was requested to arbitrate in the 
matter, and consented to do so, but Waterboer declined to 
sign the deed of submission after it had been drawn up by 
the attorney-general of the Cape Colony. Mr. Arnot wished 
to include the land east of the Yaal, and Waterboer would 
only act by his advice. Then the Basuto war of 1865-6 
occupied the attention of the Free State government, to the 
exclusion of less pressing matters. 

On the 21st of January 1867 Mr. Arnot brought the 
matter on again, by offering to submit his client's claim to 
the arbitration of Sir Philip Wodehouse, provided the land 
east of the Vaal and north of the Vetberg line should be 
included in the dispute. The Free State government re- 
jected this offer, as they would not admit that there was 
any valid ground of contention concerning territory that had 
been transferred to them by Sir George Clerk, and in which 
many of the farms were held under British titles. On the 
20th of June, therefore, the volksraad resolved that if 
Waterboer would not consent within four months to refer 
the question of the ownership of the Campbell district, with- 
out reference to any other territory, to the arbitration and 
decision of Sir Philip Wodehouse, the president should send 
a commission to inspect the ground preparatory to further 
action being taken. But the difficulties which followed with 
the Basuto, and which necessitated a call of the burghers 
to arms within a month after the adoption of this resolution, 
absorbed the attention of the Free State government ; and 
this matter was allowed to stand over till a more convenient 

On the 31st of March 1870 President Brand had a con- 
ference with Waterboer at Backhouse, and the captain then 
consented to submit the question of the ownership of the 
Campbell district alone to the arbitration of Sir Philip 
Wodehouse. The president forwarded a deed of submission 
duly signed by both parties, but on the 5th of May the 
high commissioner replied that he was unable to act in the 
matter, as he was about to leave South Africgj.. 

340 History of the Orange Free State* [187b 

The volksraad then sent Messrs. Steyn and Hohne to 
Waterboer to endeavour to induce him to come to some 
friendly arrangement. They succeeded in obtaining his 
promise to appoint a commission to meet one from the Free 
State, with power to settle the dispute. It was agreed that 
the commissions should meet on the 15th of Ausfust at 
Nooitgedacht, near the ford on the Vaal river known as 

The commissioners of the Free State were President 
Brand and the members of the executive council, namely 
Mr. F. K. Hohne, government secretary, Mr. F. McCabe, 
landdrost of Bloemfontein, and Messrs. M. Steyn, J. W. 
Louw, and Jeremias Venter. Attorney C. J. Vels accom- 
panied the commission to conduct the case, and the secretary 
of the volksraad was employed to keep a record of the 

On arriving at a farm named Nooitgedacht at the 
appointed time, the commission found no representatives of 
the Griqua clan ; but next day they learned that the kraal 
of the Korana captain Barend Bloem north of the Vaal bore 
the same name, and that Waterboer was there in waiting. 
Accordingly they proceeded to Bloem's kraal, and on the 
18th the conference commenced. Waterboer was accom- 
panied by seven of the Griqua councillors, and by Mr. Arnot 
and Attorney D. C. Grant to conduct his case. The meet- 
ings took place in a tent pitched for the occasion. A large 
number of people, either interested in the case or drawn 
together by curiosity, had assembled to watch the proceed- 
ings. qA commission from the South African Republic, 
consisting of President Pretorius, Mr. John Robert Lys, 
member of the volksraad, and the state secretary Proes, was 
there also, and desired to be admitted as a party to the 
dispute, for the government at Pretoria claimed territory 
that was supposed to overlap a portion of the Campbell 
district. Neither the Free State nor the Griqua commission, 
however, would consent to admit a third party at this stage 
of the proceedings. 

1870] Conference at Nooitgedacht, 341 

Waterboer's case was first stated. It rested chiefly on 
the following grounds: 

(a) The treaty between Sir Benjamin D'Urban and his 
father in 1834, which proved nothing relevant. "' 

(6) A treaty between his father and Adam Kok, dated 
on the Qth of November 1838, in which all the land west of 
a line from Ramah on the Orange to Platberg on the Vaal 
was assigned to Andiies Waterboer, and Cornelis Kok was 
completely ignored. This document was regarded as of i;reat 
importance on the Griqua side of the controversy. But in 
reality it was of no more value than the treaty of Dover 
would be in a dispute between France and the Netherlands. 
Just before it was made the elder Adam Kok, to whom Dr. 
Philip had given the district of Philippolis, died, and his 
sons Abraham and Adam fought for the succession. Cornelis 
Kok aided his nephew Abraham, and Andries Waterboer 
aided Adam. The treaty was a division of territory between 
two allies against a common enemy, Abraham Kok was 
defeated, but his uncle Cornelis Kok held his own, was not 
subdued, and many years later was not only reconciled with 
the nephew against whom he had fought, but made that 
nephew his heir. Under such circumstances, the treaty of 
1838 could not in justice be held to favour Waterboer's 
claim in the least. 

(c) A treaty between his father and the Batlapin captain 
Mahura, dated on the 22nd of April 1842. This was an 
arrangement — if it was valid, which the Batlapin have ever 
since persistently denied — concerning territory to which 
neither of the contracting parties had any right or title, and 
affecting numerous clans and captains who knew nothing 
whatever of its existence. 

(d) An assertion that Cornelis Kok had no right to 
dispose of land, he having been subordinate to Waterboer. 
It was hardly necessary to disprove this assertion, which 
was made in defiance of well-known historical facts ; but the 
Free State commission did so by overwhelming testimony, 
including correspondence of Waterboer himself. 

342 History of the Orange Free State, [1870 

Further, Waterboer's case rested on ignorinoj many events 
connected with the Griquas since 1847, repudiating Sir 
Harry Smith's acts, turning his back upon his own doings 
before 1863, and making a stand upon rights alleged to 
have belonged to his father by implied consent of wandering 
clans at the time when the policy of building up large Bantu 
and Griqua states was favoured by the imperial government. 
He brought forward nothing that could substantiate his 
claim in the opinion of President Brand and the other Free 
State commissioners. 

But he had as advocate and adviser a man of consummate 
skill in such matters, who made it a principle to contest a 
case to the very last point, and who felt a pleasure in 
fighting a legal battle with tremendous odds against him. 
There was no one else in South Africa so well qualified as 
Mr. Arnot to represent the Griqua captain. And he bore 
no love to the republics, so that his heart was in the task 
he had set himself to accomplish, which was to get as much 
territory as possible admitted to be Waterboer's, that it 
could afterwards be transferred to her Majesty's govern- 
ment. On the fifth day of the conference, when every one 
else considered the Griqua case completely broken down, he 
proposed that the evidence of the Griqua councillors who 
were present should be taken as to the status of Cornells 
Kok. The Free State commission objected to their appear- 
ance as witnesses, because they were sitting in the capacity 
of judges. The objection does not seem to have been 
founded on good grounds, because if the councillors had 
any special knowledge they would make use of it when 
giving their votes in the final judgment, and the Free State 
commissioners would be in no worse position by hearing it. 

The proposal was pressed, so the president and his 
associates asked for time to consider it, and the meeting 
was adjourned. Before it was opened again Mr. Arnot 
addressed the president in writing, asking if the govern- 
ment of the Free State would promise and undertake upon 
the conclusion of this question to submit the claim of 

1870] Conference at Nooitgedacht, 343 

Waterboer to land east of the Vaal to the arbitration of Sir 
Philip Wodehouse's successor as high commissioner. The 
president replied, declining to do so. Upon this, the 
Griqua commission withdrew from the conference, and on 
the following day the members abruptly left Nooitgedacht, 
without notifying their intention to do so or taking leave 
of the other party. 

A meeting then took place between the commissions of 
the Free State and the South African Republic. The latter 
claimed the territory north of the Vaal and east of the 
Hart, down to the junction of those rivers. After some 
discussion and production of documents, the Free State 
commission announced that it made no pretension to 
authority or ownership there. Messrs. Pretorius, Lys, 
and Proes expressed themselves satisfied, and the conference 

Having thus failed in obtaining an amicable settlement 
of the dispute with Waterboer, and being convinced that 
the pretensions made by Mr. Arnot on behalf of that 
captain were untenable, on the 29th of August 1870 
President Brand, with the advice and consent of the 
executive council, issued from the Berlin mission station 
of Pniel a proclamation declaring the Campbell district, 
west of the Vaal river, the property of the Orange Free 
State. Its boundaries, as defined in the proclamation, were 
the Vaal river from the junction with the Hart down to 
the ford known as Koukonop Drift, thence a well-known 
and long-recognised line separating the districts of Griqua- 
town and Campbell, and thence various points in the desert 
round to the starting place. 

At this time the minds of Europeans throughout South 
Africa were entirely occupied by one fascinating subject, the 
discovery of diamonds. After the exhausting wars with the 
Basuto, the disastrous occurrences at Zoutpansberg, and the 
severe depression in agriculture and trade caused by a 
drought which had prevailed for several years in the Cape 
Colony, almost anything that could brighten the prospects of 

344 History of the Orange Free State. [1867 

the people would have been felt as a relief. Aad a marvel- 
lous change, not less than a complete revolution, from 
despondency to hope, from adversity to prosperity, had 
unexpectedly taken place. 

Early in 1867 a farmer named Schalk van Niekerk, who 
resided in the district of Hopetown, in the Cape Colony, 
happening to call at the house of a neighbour, observed 
one of the children playing with a remarkably brilliant 
pebble. Small stones of different colours and various 
degrees of beauty are found in the bed of the Orange river 
along the whole of its upper course, and their appearance 
was familiar to every one in the Hopetown district. But 
this one with which the child was playing reflected the 
light in a different and more beautiful way than the 
pebbles ordinarily met with. The mistress of the house, 
on hearing Mr. Van Niekerk express his admiration of 
the stone, without any hesitation made him a present of 
it. Some little time after this, a trader named O'Reilly 
was in Van Niekerk's company, when the glittering pebble 
was shown to him as a curiosity. He instantly suspected 
it to be a diamond, and, after obtaining possession of it, 
sent it first to Grahamstown to Dr. Atherstone, and after- 
wards to Capetown to M. Herite, the French consul, to be 
tested. These gentlemen pronounced it to be a diamond. 
The gem weighed twenty-one carats, and was sold to the 
governor. Sir Philip Wodehouse, for £500. 

Search was immediately commenced by several persons in 
the Hopetown district, and shortly a second diamond was 
found. Then, a third was picked up on the bank of the 
Vaal river, and attention was drawn to that quarter. 
During 1868 several gems were found, and in March 1869 
the " Star of South Africa " was obtained from a Batlapin 
witchfinder, who had been in possession of it for a long 
time without the least idea of its value other than as a 
powerful charm. It was a magnificent brilliant of eighty- 
three carats weight when uncut, and it was readily sold for 

1869] Discovery of Diamonds, 345 

Still, belief in the existence of diamond-mines so close at 
hand was not widespread. Most people were of opinion 
that the gems had been accidentally lost, or concluded that 
ostriches had brought them from some far distant region of 
the interior. This was the belief of a professed expert who 
was sent out by a diamond merchant in England to inspect 
the country about Hopetown and report upon it. 

But by the close of 1869 it had been proved that 
diamonds in large numbers were to be found along the 
northern bank of the Yaal, above the junction of the Hart, 
where some hundreds had been picked up by Koranas. In 
all parts of South Africa companies of diggers began to be 
fitted out. First to commence work was a party from 
Natal, who selected Hebron, close to the kraal of the 
Korana captain Barend Bloem, as a likely spot. Through 
the influence of Mr. Stafford Parker, an old trader in that 
part of the country, Bloem permitted the search to be 
carried on without molesting the strangers. Next to arrive 
was a party from King-Williamstown. The whole of the 
colonies and independent states were in such a wretchedly 
depressed condition that a large proportion of the population 
was ready to embark in any enterprise that would provide 
a subsistence. Diamond seeking held out better prospects 
than that. Mechanics and clerks, professional men and 
labourers, farmers and merchants, all who had nothing 
particular to do at the time, imagined that fortunes were to 
be made on the bank of the Yaal. That barren region, 
hitherto so lonely, began to resound with the bustle and 
din of an activity such as South Africa never before had 
witnessed in modern times. 

It was extremely hard work, digging for diamonds ; but 
men, whose lives had been passed in idleness, laboured there 
with a will. Emulation and excitement brought out powers 
hitherto latent, which surprised the diggers themselves. 
Along the Vaal diamonds were not found where they had 
originally been formed. An ancient mine must have been 
eaten into and worn away by the river, which did not 

346 History of the Orange Free State. [1870 

always flow in its present channel. The diamonds were 
washed down and deposited amid debris of all kinds, of 
which enormous boulders formed the principal ingredient. 
The masses of rock had to be removed before the ground 
could be taken out and conveyed to the stream, there to be 
washed in a cradle and the pebbles remaining to be sorted. 
Under the burning sun this labour was performed, willingly 
and cheerfully. 

Along the river, camps of canvas tents rose as by magic. 
If a diamond was discovered in a new locality, the next day 
saw a camp there, the ground marked out, and diggers 
at work. For eighty or a hundred kilometres above the 
confluence of the Hart and the Vaal a crowd of men 
swayed backwards and forwards. The largest camp was at 
Klipdrift, now known as Barkly West, where a great many 
diamonds were found. 

The territory in which these diamond-fields were situated 
was claimed by the South African Republic, and was in-. 
eluded in the district of Bloemhof. But it was claimed also 
by the Barolong as part of their country, by the Batlapin 
as part of theirs, and by a Korana clan as its lawful in- 
heritance. Last of all, Mr. David Arnot claimed it on behalf 
of Nicholas Waterboer. 

The diggers did not trouble themselves about settling the 
question of ownership of the ground. At Hebron, the 
highest camp on the river, the authority of the South 
African Republic was acknowledged, and probably no re- 
sistance to this state would have been shown elsewhere if it 
had not been for an egregious blunder committed by the 
government. Just before the volksraad ended its session 
in June 1870, and when only twelve members were present, 
the executive was authorised to grant a concession of mining 
privileges to one of two companies that had made applica- 
tion. Upon this authority President Pretorius and the 
executive council granted to the firm of Messrs. A. J. 
Munnich, J. M. Posno, and H. B. Webb the exclusive right 
to search for diamonds in the territory along the Vaal above 

1870] Mistake of the Govenrment at Pretoria. 347 

the junction of the Hart, for twenty-one years from the 
22nd of June 1870. The firm bound itself to pay a royalty 
of six per cent upon the diamonds found, which for that 
purpose were to be reckoned at £3 a carat irrespective of 
the size of the gems. 

This concession utterly destroyed the authority of the 
South African Republic in all the lower camps. The 
diggers would not acknowledge the monopoly, and announced 
that they would resist with arms any attempt to enforce it. 
In the villages of the republic also objections to it were 
raised, as being most impolitic. The constitution required 
the executive council to give three months notice in the 
Staats Gourant of all important laws to be brought before 
the volksraad, and as this course had not been observed, 
there was a general expression of opinion that the proceed- 
ings were illegal. The government was obliged to cancel 
the concession. But it was then too late. By that time 
the diggers at each camp had elected a committee to frame 
regulations for its government, and to carry them out. At 
Klipdrift a free republic was established, and Mr. Stafford 
Parker was elected president. 

Upon discovering the effects of the error, President 
Pretorius visited the camps along the Vaal, and endeavoured 
to allay the irritation that was prevalent. He succeeded in 
making himself personally popular, but he was unable to 
restore confidence in a government at Pretoria, though he 
made offers of very large powers of local rule. On the 1st 
of September he wrote to the chairmen of the committees 
that the territory east of th§ Hart was part of the South 
African Republic, but that circumstances being peculiar 
there, he considered an entirely different system of govern- 
ment, according to the wishes of the diggers, must be 
adopted. He proposed to give them the right to elect their 
own officials, who were to be invested with extraordinary 
powers, and he desired that delegates should be elected by 
the people to meet him and discuss the best way in which 
the interests of the diggers could be promoted. 

34^ History of the Orange Free State. [1870 

This overture was followed by a proclamation, dated at 
Klipdrift on the 10th of September 1870, in which the right 
of the South African Republic to the territory east of the 
Hart river was asserted, and the following basis of govern- 
ment was laid down : 

" Whereas since the discovery of diamonds it is desirable to make 
particular regulations to promote the interests of the diggers and 
the residents in the said territory, be it known 

" 1. That the territory from the junction of the Hart river and 
the Vaal river, the latter river upwards to the Berris-drift, also called 
Hartebeest-hoorn, thence to the banks of the Hart river, in the 
direction of Enkele Kameelboom, shall never be given out in tarms, 
but be kept exclusively for digging purposes, and be a separate 

"2. That the said district shall have the name of Diamond 

"3. That in the said district no special concession or preferent right 
shall be given to any one. 

"4. That the English currency shall be the lawful currency in this 

' ' 5. That the English language shall be the official language to be 
used in all courts. 

" 6. That considering the distance from the seat of government, a 
local executive of three members shall be appointed provisionally by me, 
to be approved of by the residents of the said territory. 

"7. That the said executive shall assist the diggers in all possible 
ways, and subject to my approval frame laws, appoint officers, direct 
the laying out of towns, but carefully abstain from interfering in the 
administration of justice. 

" 8, That a resident magistrate shall be appointed for the adminis- 
tration of justice and the preservation of order, being as a judge 
independent of the executive. 

"9. That nine heemraden shall be elected, four of whom, with the 
magistrate, shall form a court of appeal. 

"10. That capital crimes shall belong to the jurisdiction of two 
magistrates and twelve jurymen. 

"11. That for the salaries of the said officials, as well as for the 
payment of a proper police force, a license shall be paid by every 
digger : five shillings for three months. 

"12. That no resident can be compelled to any commando or burgher 
duty, unless for the protection of the aforesaid diggers' territory." 

At the same time that President Pretorius was offering 
these concessions, the ground was being claimed by a man 

iSyo] Appointment of a Commissioner at PnieL 349 

named Theodor Doms, who styled himself political agent of 
the Barolong and Batlapin tribes, and who was in correspond- 
ence with the high commissioner concerning what he termed 
the rights of his clients. He also was ready to make almost 
unbounded concessions, if only his authority was recognised. 
The result was that parties were formed : one in favour 
of a free republic without acknowledgment of any of the 
claimants, another in favour of requesting the high commis- 
sioner to establish British authority, a third in favour of 
submission to the South African Republic, a fourth in favour 
of self-rule under pretence of an agreement with Doms 
acting in the name of the Barolong and Batlapin. It is 
needless to speculate as to how the dispute might have 
ended, for before a critical point was reached, richer deposits 
of diamonds were discovered elsewhere, and nearly all the 
diggers removed from the northern bank of the Vaal. 

Early in 1870 diamonds were found by prospectors on the 
Free State side of the river, and in June of this year a 
party of men set to work on the mission station of Pniel, 
although the reverend Mr. Kallenberg, who was then the 
resident clergyman, ordered them away. The ground turned 
out to be particularly rich, and the missionary was then 
obliged to come to terms with the diggers and consent to 
their remaining on condition of one - fourth of the value of 
the gems found being paid to him for the directors of the 
Berlin society. The camp at this place rapidly increased in 
size. After the conference at Nooitgedacht it was visited by 
President Brand and the executive council of the Free State, 
who recognised at once that a court of justice on the spot 
was necessary, as the village of Jacobsdal, where the land- 
drost of the district resided, was more than forty miles or 
sixty -four kilometres distant. On the 29th of August 1870 
Mr. Olof Johannes Truter, a gentleman of well-known ability, 
was appointed commissioner of the diamond-fields on the 
Free State side of the river, with the same power as a 
landdrost. He was to reside at Pniel, and hold a court 

350 History of the Orange Free State. [187a 

A little later in the year rumouis spread that richer 
deposits were to be found far away from the river. Some 
children of a farmer named Van Wyk, residing at Dorst- 
fontein, on the rim of a saucer-like depression of the ground 
known as Dutoitspan, had picked several small diamonds 
from the mud with which their dwelling was plastered. 
Forthwith search was made in the place from which the mud 
had been taken, and diamonds were found. A party of 
diggers hastened to Dutoitspan, and found several farmers, 
friends of the proprietor, already at work. They asked 
permission to dig, and offered to pay a reasonable fee to the 
owner of the ground, but were ordered away. The farmer 
did not want them there. But as they would not leave, he 
was obliged to come to terms, and the dry diggings — - as 
they w^ere called — were opened at Dorstfontein. 

Dutoitspan was situated in a part of the Free State that 
thirty years earlier had been just on the border of the 
Griqua territory under the government of Cornells Kok. The 
country in its neighbourhood had never been occupied by 
Griquas, except at a fountain here and there, but Kok 
claimed the land as far east as a line from the junction of 
the Riet and Modder rivers to Platberg on the Vaal, and his 
claim was recognised by the emigrant farmers. Such a line 
would pass on one side of Dorstfontein or the other, accord- 
ing to what part of Platberg was made the terminal point. 
It had never been marked by beacons. A large tract of land 
adjoining it on the east had been purchased in 1839 by Mr. 
D. S. Fourie from the Bushman captain David Danser, but 
only the crudest kind of jneasurement had been used to 
determine the positions of the farms, so that an opinion 
could be formed as to whether they were In Kok's district 
or in that obtained from Danser. If a farm was believed to 
be west of the line, Europeans who fancied to live in a 
region so desolate bought it from Cornelis Kok, but did not 
thereby come under the government of that captain, as it 
was understood that a transaction of this kind covered 
sovereignty as well as ownership. In 1848 Sir Harry Smith 

1870] p7'oprietorship of the Dry Diggings. 351 

obliterated Cornells Kok's rule, but not his proprietorship, 
over the land still unsold, by proclaiming the whole country 
as far as the Yaal part of the Queen's dominions." 

In the titles to farms issued by the Sovereignty and Free 
State governments, no reservation of minerals was made. 
The land in that part of South Africa was believed to be 
good for nothing bat pasturage, and fur that purpose only it 
had been occupied. Twenty pounds for a thousand acres 
would have been considered a fair price for it before the dis- 
covery of diamonds. It had cost the original proprietors 
the merest trifle, and a thousand pounds would have amply 
repaid them for all their improvements. But now, relying 
upon the omission of a reservation clause in the title - deeds, 
com.panies were formed and purchased the farms Dorstfontein, 
Bultfontein, and Vooruitzigt, which adjoin each other. The 
farmers were seriously frightened at what they saw going 
on before them, and were glad to sell for a few thousands 
each. The object of the new proprietors was to monopolise 
digging in the best places, and to charge heavy licenses from 

The proprietors and the diggers speedily came into collision. 
The law was on the side of the proprietors, but the diggers 
claimed that justice and common sense were with them. 
Disturbances took place. Bultfontein was forcibly taken 
possession of, and claims were marked out up to the very 
door of the farmhouse. But this violent act was generally 
disapproved of, and, after a little persuasion, the diggers 
withdrew. They were desirous that the government should 
take over the land from the proprietors at a reasonable 
valuation, as is done in other countries when it is necessary 
to construct a railway through private grounds, or whenever 
the interests of the whole community demand it. They 
argued that the land had really been granted for grazing 
purposes only, and that the proprietors would suffer no in- 
justice by the proposed arrangement. But the government 
saw difficulties in the way, and the proprietary companies 
shielded themselves behind their titles, which gave them 

352 History of the Orange Free State, [1871 

absolute and unqualified ownership of the ground and 
its contents. 

At length, in May 1871, a provisional arrangement was 
made by the government, to have eftect until the volksraad 
should come to a decision in the matter ; and all parties 
expressed themselves ready to abide by it. It was to the 
effect that for each claim of nine hundred square feet (83*17 
square metres) a monthly license of ten shillings should be 
paid. Of this, the government was to receive five shillings, 
the proprietors of the farms were to receive four shillings, 
and the diggers' committee was to receive one shilling. 
The committee of each camp was invested with ordinary 
municipal power. 

On the 22nd of February 1871 the mission station of 
Pniel had been cut off from the district of Jacobsdal and 
created a district of itself. Its limits were now enlaro^ed so 
as to embrace the dry diggings, and the landdrost Truter 
was removed from Pniel — where few diggers then remained 
— to Dutoitspan. A post ofifice was established, and a body 
of police was enrolled. 

In June the first diamond was discovered at the mine now 
known as Kimberley, on the Vooruitzigt farm. Prospecting 
was then being actively carried on, and this place had twice 
before been examined and abandoned. 

It was not yet supposed that there were diamonds at any 
great depth beneath the surface, the prevailing opinion being 
that they had been transported by the agency of water from 
some unknown place of formation, and deposited where they 
were being found. The plan upon which all ground had 
hitherto been worked was in accordance with the view that 
only the surface soil was productive. No roadways were left 
when blocks of claims were marked out. Experience, how- 
ever, was beginning to show that this system was faulty, 
for already many of the inner plots of ground at Dorst- 
fontein, Bultfontein, and another mine called De Beer's, were 
not only difficult but dangerous to reach. It was therefore 
resolved to adopt another plan. 

iSyi] Wo7^king of the Kimberley Mine. 353 

The Kimberley mine, when first laid out in claims, was a 
gentle swell above the general surface. It is hardly a mile 
or a kilometre and three-fifths from the rim of the great 
pan, on the northern slope of which the Dorstfontein and 
Bultfontein diggings are situated. Seven hundred claims or 
plots of ground, each containing a little more than eighty- 
three square metres, were marked oflf, and immediately taken 
possession of. But many of these were afterwards found 
to be beyond the reef, or caldron of rock which contained 
the diamond bearing soil, and were therefore of no value. 
Many even of those within the reef were soon found not to 
be worth working, and less than seven acres is the actual 
area of that portion which has yielded so amazingly as to 
reduce the price of diamonds throughout the world to a 
mere fraction of their former value. Twelve roadways, each 
fifteen feet (4"56 metres) in width, were left across the mine 
by a regulation which required each claimholder to reserve 
one-fourth of his plot for that purpose. Between these roads 
great trenches were opened, the ground taken out being 
conveyed beyond the reef and there sifted and carefully 

Hills of sifted earth, rivalling in size the natural eleva- 
tions of the country, rapidly rose around the mine now fast 
changing its form to that of a crater. These hills, the roads, 
and the trenches swarmed with human beings. In that little 
spot thirty thousand men, white and black, were working at 
once. The reports of the enormous quantities of diamonds 
found attracted strangers from all parts of the civilised 
world. Blacks from every tribe in South Africa congregated 
there too, allured by the prospect of obtaining guns and 
ammunition with the very high wages offered. The river 
diggings were almost deserted. Men who by mere chance 
secured rich claims for nothing, Avhen they were first allotted, 
could now readily obtain a thousand pounds for half their 

A great camp of canvas tents of all sizes and shapes 
covered the ground on one side of the mine. Streets and 

VOL. lY. AA 

354 History of the Orange Free State. [1871 

squares were shortly laid out, and soon iron buildings rose 
along them. Churches and schools, banks and newspaper 
offices, concert rooms and theatres, stores and shops, diamond 
buyers' offices, hotels, canteens, and gambling houses were 
all to be seen before the close of the year. Along the streets 
passed an incessant stream of waggons, carts, carriages, and 
pedestrians. Similar, but on a smaller scale, were the camps 
at Dutoitspan, Bultfontein, and De Beer's. The whole four 
mines were within a circle having a radius of only three 
kilometres, or less than two miles. 

Life at the dry-digging camps, in their early days, was 
full of excitement, but far from pleasant. Water was scarce 
and bad. The best was brought in casks from a farm 
eight or nine kilometres away. When, at length, it was 
obtained by sinking wells, much of it was found to contain 
lime in solution, and to increase rather than quench thirst. 
It was only after a great many wells had been sunk, and 
a selection could be made, that this discomfort was got rid 
of. For a long time the camps were in a filthy state, and 
during calms the air was offensive. The dust storms were 
terrific. Violent gusts of hot wind caught up the sifted ground 
and loose materials of every kind, and whirled them about 
until the atmosphere was darkened and breathing was difficult. 
A discomfort scarcely less than any of these was the amazing 
abundance of insect life. The bad water, the filth, the dust 
storms, and the vermin brought on sickness, which, during 
midsummer, prevailed to an alarming extent ; but the death 
rate was not very high. 

On the 2nd of June an ordinance for regulating the 
government of the diamond-fields was passed by the volks- 
raad. In effect it did little more than confirm the provisional 
arrangement made by the executive authority on the 15th of 
May, and which met with the approval of the diggers and 
the proprietors of the farms. The ninth clause provided for 
the establishment of a committee of management in each 
camp, to consist of six members elected by the diggers, w^ith 
the government inspector as chairman. The tenth clause 

1870] Action of Lieutenant-General Hay, Zzt'S 

gave to the committees of management power to frame such 
regulations as might be found necessary for the local circum- 
stances and social management of the diggings, subject only 
to the approval of the executive council. 

Under this system of government, good order was main- 
tained. Class legislation to a limited extent prevailed. 
Blacks were not allowed to roam about the camps after nine 
o'clock at night, canteen-keepers were prohibited from selling 
intoxicating liquor to them unless with the written permis- 
sion of their employers, and they were not permitted to buy 
or sell diamonds. But these recfulations were carried out in 
such a manner as not to oppress any one unnecessarily. 
Blacks were never disturbed when walking quietly along the 
streets, even after nine o'clock, and those who wore clothing 
and presented a respectable appearance were not prevented 
from digging for themselves. 

The Free State, however, was not permitted to establish 
the machiner}' of government on the diamond-fields without 
opposition. On the loth of September 1870, Lieutenant- 
General Hay, who was then her Majesty's high commissioner 
in South Africa, wrote to President Brand that he had 
noticed in a newspaper the proclamation concerning the 
Campbell district, adding that he was in communication with 
Nicholas Waterboer, who claimed territory on both sides of 
the Vaal, and that he was desirous of obtaining information 
concerning the Free State title. He concluded by intimating 
that the planting of beacons to mark the Campbell district 
would be premature. 

Four days later General Hay wrote further that he had 
seen a notice of the appointment of Mr. 0. J. Truter as 
commissioner at Pniel, in a portion of the country claimed by 
Waterboer, and that he did not acknowledge the sovereignty 
of the Free State over any subjects of her Majesty living 
within the limits of the territory in dispute. "The con- 
course of people at the diamond-fields, however, had received 
his close consideration," he said, " and with a view to prevent 
the commission of crime or outrage by any of her Majesty's 

356 History of the Orange Free State. [1870 

subjects therein, he had taken measures for the issuing of 
magistrates' commissions giving jurisdiction over such sub- 
jects, under the provisions of an Act of the Imperial 
Parliament, 26 and 27 Victoria, cap. 35," — the Cape of Good 
Hope Punishment Bill in an amended form. 

This was the commencement of a series of letters, some of 
very great length, which cannot be read now without a 
feeling of intense weariness of the subject. And all the time 
there were documents which, if brought to light, would have 
set the question at rest at once and for ever. But no one 
knew that they were in existence. The records of political 
occurrences in the government offices in Capetown had never 
been kept in such a manner that they could be easily 
referred to ; most of them, indeed, at that time were tied 
up in packets and put away wherever room could be found 
for them. There was no archive office, and no one specially 
charged with the duty of registering and indexing papers of 
importance.* Each department kept its own records in its 
own way, and all were so cramped for space that documents 
a few years old were of necessity put on top shelves or in 
cellars or garrets. In a colony events succeed each other 
rapidly. Governors are changed every few years, and public 
officers are constantly being moved from one place or occupa- 
tion to another. Under such circumstances, transactions, 
considered even at the time of their occurrence of very small 
importance, come to be entirely forgotten after fifteen or 
twenty years, except by the immediate actors. 

And the district in which Kimberley is situated, with its 
railway station, and telegraph office, and streets lit by elec- 

*In March 1879 the author of this history was appointed keeper of 
the archives of the Cape Colony, and was the first to hold the office. 
At that time there was no apartment in any of the public buildings 
that could be spared, excepting a small room in the surveyor-general's 
office. In that confined space a few hundred volumes and as many 
parcels of the oldest Dutch records had been packed by a commission 
which had examined and reported upon the state of the archives a 
short time previously. In 1884, upon the completion of the new 
parliament house, a section of the basement of that building was set 
apart for the safe keeping of the records. 

1870] Action of Lieutenant- General Hay, 357 

tricity, was as little known before the discovery of diamonds 
as the heart of the Kalahari is to-day. Nobody cared to 
know anything of it, for it was not worth the trouble of 
reading or writing about. Mission reports occasionally con- 
tained statements concerning Nicholas Waterboer, and his 
name appeared in public documents yearly as the recipient 
of a pension at the expense of the Cape Colony, given m 
consideration of the good conduct of his father ; but further 
than that he and his clan were hardly ever heard of. 

Lieutenant-General Hay and President Brand entered upon 
this controversy like two lawyers conducting a case on 
opposite sides, each unaware of the existence of witnesses 
capable of giving direct and clear testimony, and each 
making the very utmost of circumstantial evidence of all 

President Brand's arguments mic^ht be reduced to this : 
The Campbell district and the district in which the diamond- 
fields east of the Yaal were situated were distinct from each 
other. The latter was part of the Free State, on account of 
having been in the undisturbed possession and occupation of 
its burghers for twenty years b}^ virtue of British land certi- 
ficates issued before the abandonment of the Sovereignty by 
her Majesty's government in 1854. In this district persons 
coming to push their fortunes by diamond - digging were cer- 
tainly subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the Free 
State. He therefore protested against the appointment by 
the high commissioner of special magistrates to exercise 
authority therein, as a violation of the convention of 1854. 
The boundary of Waterboer's. district east of the Yaal was 
the Yetberg line, and no other could be recognised. Inter- 
ference between the Free State and a clan such as that 
of Waterboer was a violation of the convention, and tended 
to paralyse the government, which had no wish or inten- 
tion to do wrong to a single individual, but was desirous 
of maintaining its own rights. 

Lieutenant-General Hay, on the other hand, could see 
no distinction between the Campbell district and the land 

35 S History of the Orange Free State. [1870 

east of the Vaal. The Vetberg line, upon which so much 
stress was laid by the president, was not a boundary origin- 
ally made between Waterboer and the Free State, but 
between Waterboer and Cornells Kok, therefore the Free 
State by claiming that line admitted the ground above it 
to have been Cornelis Kok's. But the pretensions of the 
republic to Cornelis Kok's ground were derived solely 
from a sale by the agent of Cornelis Kok's alleged heir, 
and if that did not cover the territory on both sides of 
the river, the republic appeared to have not even the 
shadow of a right to the eastern bank. Waterboer asserted 
that Cornelis Kok had been his subordinate officer, and 
denied that captain's right to sell land. He also denied 
that he had been a party to the making of the Vetberg 
line, and ignored it altogether. He produced a treaty 
between his father and Adam Kok, in which his father's 
eastern boundary was defined as a line from Ramah by 
the way of David's Graf to Platberg. It was thus clear 
that his father had once been in possession of the whole 
territory west of that line, and there was nothing to show 
that either his father or himself had ever consented to part 
with any portion of it. The titles to land in the district 
east of the Vaal, the high commissioner believed must have 
been issued by Major Warden in error. Waterboer asserted 
that Major Warden had admitted as much. And lastly, if 
Sir Harry Smith had included the territory in question in 
the Sovereignty, it had reverted to its original owner upon 
the withdrawal of her Majesty's government. 

In all the controversy, there is not one word on either 
side concerning the broad distinction between proprietorship 
and dominion which Sir Harry Smith had made, and upon 
which the right of the Free State really rested. The high 
commissioner confused the three farms given out by Major 
Warden on Waterboer's side of the original Vetberg line with 
ten times that number given out in the district farther 
north, and a vast deal of time and paper was taken to try 
to put him right ; but it was not shown that the site of 

1870] Action of LiezUenant'G 67167' al Hay, 359 

Bloemfontein itself was held by the Free State on exactly 
the same tenure as those farms, for it had once been ground 
recognised as the property of Adam Kok, and sovereignty 
over the district in v/hich it was situated had been acquired 
in just the same wa}" as in the other case. The want of 
a clue, such as could be supplied by documents forgotten 
since Sir George Clerk left South Africa, is apparent 
everywhere throughout the controvers\\ 

As a statement of their case, made and repeated in every 
possible form in writing, had no impression upon the high 
commissioner, the volksraad instructed President Brand 
and Mr. C. W. Hutton to proceed to Capetown and endeavour 
to explain matters by word of mouth. The delegates reached 
Capetown on the 29th of December 1870 ; but General Hay 
declined to grant them an official interview, on the ground 
that Sir Henry Barkly, who was hourly expected, would 
have to settle the matter finally, and it was therefore 
better to wait for him. On the 3rd of January 1871 
Messrs. Brand and Hutton had a meeting with the new 
high commissioner, but naturally could make no impression 
upon him, as he had not yet been able to study the subject 
except from such papers as had been printed. 

The correspondence between Lieutenant-General Hay and 

President Brand was conducted in temperate language ; but 

some of the despatches sent by the former to England 

occasioned great irritation in South Africa when they were 

published in bluebooks. There are certainly expressions 

in them which were not justified by facts, as, for instance, 

the following, which is taken from a despatch addressed 

to Lord Kimberley, secretary of state for the colonies, on 

the 19th of November 1870 : 

" The governments of the two neighbouring repubhcan states — the 
Orange Free State and the South African Republic — have, since the 
discovery (of diamonds) referred to, assumed an attitude towards the 
Griqua people and other aboriginal inhabitants which plainly indicates 
an intention of seizing upon and appropriating between them, without 
sufficient or justifiable cause, nearly the whole of the Griqua and adjacent 
other native territory, and of ejecting therefrom the native population 
by whom it is now, and for a long series of years has been, occupied." 



In 1870 and the early months of 1871 there was an oppor- 
tunity for a statesman in British South Africa to bind together 
the diverse elements of society, and with little difficulty to 
extend the influence of England in the interior. Tiie 
republics had not yet recovered from the state of exhaustion 
caused by the wars in which the}^ had been involved, and 
would have been only too glad to enter into any fair 
arrangement to secure to Great Britain, through the Cape 
Colony, every advantage that could be desired, provided only 
they were treated with courtesy and justice. No one of any 
note in either state refused to admit that the discovery of 
diamonds in vast numbers must produce a change of some 
kind in the country, and that England, as the power of 
greatest weight and importance, was entitled to a corresponding 
share in the settlement of the new interests that had arisen. 
There can be no doubt that under the circumstances then 
existing past errois could have been consigned to oblivion 
and an era of harmony have been entered upon. There was 
an opportunity for a statesman, but the man was not at hand 
to take advantage of it. 

Sir Henry Barkly, on his arrival in South Africa — 31st 
of December 1870, — found President Brand and Mr. C. W. 
Hutton waiting in Capetown to explain matters from their 
standpoint. The Free State delegates had learned that the 
principal officers of the colonial government were disposed to 
act. as advocates of Nicholas Waterboer, and Mr. Hutton 
declared afterwards in the volksraad that he would not have 
remained twenty - four hours if the president, who was 


187 1 ] Dealings of the Special Ma.gistrate. 361 

earnestly desirous of an aniicable settlementj had not per- 
suaded him to stay. On the 3rd of January 1871 an 
interview of three hours' duration took place with the high 
commissioner. Sir Henry Barkly spoke of Waterboer's 
claim to the district in which the diamond - fields were 
situated as if it rested on a firm basis, and proposed that the 
Free State should submit the dispute to arbitration. The 
del estates maintained that the Free State could not refer to 
arbitration the question of its right to a portion of the 
territory transferred to it by the British authorities in 1854, 
in which no Griquas were living, and over which Waterboer 
had never exercised jurisdiction. As for the Campbell 
district, the condition was different, and they did not object 
to submit the question of its ownership to the decision of a 
foreign court ; but after Waterboer's offer to cede his territory 
to the British government, the high commissioner could not 
be regarded as an impartial and disinterested person to act 
as umpire. 

The delegates remained some weeks in Capetown, though 
from the first even President Brand saw little chance of 
success. The high commissioner kept them occupied in ex- 
plaining in writing the pettiest details of transfers of farms, 
in verifying paltry documents, and such-like matters, wasting 
time to no purpose. 

At the beginning of February Mr. Campbell — the special 
magistrate at Klipdrif t — began to feel his way towards 
asserting authority on the Free State side of the river. On 
the 1st of the month he issued a notice cautioning all persons 
against purchasing or alienating land at either Klipdrift or 
Pniel, and on the 8th he warned the committee of manaofe- 
ment of a new camp at a place called Cawood's Hope, 
on the left bank of the Vaal, not to pay license fees to any 
one but himself. On the 8th also, he called for tenders for 
the hire of strong rooms to be used as a lock-up and a 
prison at Pniel, and for the supply of maize or millet for 
the use of a hundred mounted policemen on either side of 
the river. 

3^)2 History of the Orange Free State. [187 1 

These notices called forth remonstrances from the Free 
State government, but the high commissioner supported Mr. 
Campbell. In a letter to President Brand, dated on the 
28th of February 1871, he stated that "as long as the 
boundaries between the Orange Free State and the chief 
Waterboer remained in dispute, all acts performed under 
the authority and with the consent of the latter, within the 
limits mentioned by Lieutenant - General Hay, were, in the 
opinion of her Majesty's government, of greater force and 
validity than those of the representatives of the Orange 
Free State." 

After his visit to the diamond - fields at the end of 
February and the beginning of March 1871, Sir Henry 
Barkly touched at Bloemfontein on his way to the Lesuto. 
There he endeavoured to induce President Brand to follow 
the example of President Pretorius, and submit to the 
decision of arbitrators the right of the state to all the ground 
claimed by Mr. Arnot for Waterboer, and further to agree 
to the exclusive jurisdiction of British special magistrates 
over British subjects within the territory in dispute until the 
decision of the arbitrators should be made known. But to 
this the president and the executive council would in no 
wise consent. In the territory east of the Vaal claimed in 
the name of Waterboer, they observed, there were at least 
one hundred and forty occupied farms, a considerable number 
of which were held under titles issued by the Sovereignty 
government. They could not suspend their right of juris- 
diction over any individuals there, and in case any one else 
should attempt to exercise authority they would be compelled 
to adopt measures of resistance. But as regarded the 
Campbell district, they were willing to submit their right 
to it to the decision of either the president of the United 
States of America or the king of Holland, or they would 
dispose of their title on fair terms either to the imperial or 
Cape colonial government, or they were prepared to exchange 
it for the district of Albania. Sir Henry Barkly would 
accept none of these proposals. 

1871] Attitude of the High Commissioner. 363 

In the mean time the practical government of the 
diamond-fields was made almost impossible by the action of 
the high commissioner and the special magistrate. Under 
the plea that obtaining licenses from officers of the Free 
State would be recognising one party in the dispute, British 
subjects were called upon to pay taxes of all kinds to the 
special magistrate only, and were promised protection against 
the enforcement of demands by any person else. A few 
individuals then set the Free State authorities at defiance, 
upon which the president called out a commando to support 
the courts of law. 

The high commissioner chose to regard this proceeding as 
a menace to the British government. On the 20th of March 
he wrote to the president that his "fixed determination was 
to repel force by force, and to protect her Majesty's subjects 
by every means in his power from all interference by the 
Free State authorities, whilst pursuing their lawful calling in 
the territory claimed by the chief Waterboer, as long as 
the question of title to the territory was not disposed of by 
competent authority." Under the act of the Cape parliament 
No. 3 of 1855, the governor was empowered to employ the 
frontier armed and mounted police within or without the 
colonial boundary as to him should seem meet. Since its 
enrolment it had frequently been stationed beyond the 
border, and at this time a detachment under Inspector 
Jackson was at the diggings north of the Yaal. In April 
the whole available force was concentrated at Hopetown, and 
a troop under Commandant Bowker moved on to Klipdrift 
to support the special magistrate. 

Just before this the volksraad met in special session at 
Bloemfontein, for the purpose of discussing the perilous 
condition of the country. The members repudiated the 
assumption of the high commissioner that the Free State 
was actuated by any other than the most friendly feelings 
towards the British government, at the same time they 
deprecated the treatment the republic was receiving at the 
hands of Sir Henry Barkly, and declined emphatically to 

364 History of the Orange Free State, [1871 

submit their rights to a court of arbitration of which any of 
the judges should be nominated directly or indirectly by 
him. They felt, however, that they were under a necessity 
of making some proposal to show that they were only 
desirous of defending their own possessions, and therefore 
they expressed themselves ready to submit to foreign arbitra- 
tion their right to the land in which the dry diggings were 
situated. On the 5th of April they adopted a resolution "to 
propose to his Excellency that the head of an independent 
foreign power be requested to give the desired decision as 
arbitrator, and to propose to the choice of the British govern- 
ment his Majesty the emperor of Germany, or his Majesty 
the king of the Netherlands, or the president of the United 
States of America, and that pending the said decision the 
jurisdiction of the Orange Free State over the disputed 
ground should be maintained and continue to be exercised as 
had hitherto been the case." 

When this was communicated to the high commissioner, 
he replied that he was precluded from discussing the question 
further until the armed force of the Free State was recalled. 
The volksraad then resolved that the commando should be 
withdrawn, protesting at the same time that there never 
was any iatention to oppose the British autb.orities, the 
object being to support the courts of law against resistance 
made in the name of the captain Nicholas Waterboer. Upon 
this the high commissioner renewed his proposal of local 
arbitration with concurrent iurisdiction until the result 
should be known, which the Free State government again 
declined. The phraseology which he used irritated the 
members of the volksraad exceedingly, for he wrote of the 
diamond-fields as being in that part of Waterboer's territory 
clairaed by the Free State. Shortly afterwards Lord 
Kimberley announced that the reference of South African 
disputes to the head of a foreign country could not be 
agreed to by Great Britain, so that the confidence enter- 
tained in the republic of arriving at a settlement in this 
manner came to an end. 

1S71] Attihtde of the High Commissioner. 365 

The imperial government must be held responsible for the 
acts of its agents, more especially when it formally approves 
of those acts ; but it should be remembered at the same 
time that the secretary of state derives his information upon 
such subjects as the ownership of a plot of ground in the 
middle of a South African desert entirely from men situated 
as were Sir Henry Barkly and Lieutenant-General Hay, 
Whether these high officers in their turn were grossly 
misinformed, or not, may be left undiscussed ; beyond 
dispute, their despatches were misleading. The distortion of 
events in some of them would be perfectly ludicrous if the 
consequences had not been so serious. As an instance, a 
proclamation was published by one Jacob Makantsi, a 
counsellor of the Barolon^ chief Moroko, and Theodor Doms 
and Roderick Barker, styling themselves diplomatic agent 
and commander-in-chief of the Batlapin and Barolong tribes, 
declaring war against the South African Republic. This was 
considered by some of the diggers a capital joke, and Doms 
was loudly cheered when he mounted on a cart and began 
to make a speech. The whole proceeding was a piece of 
buffoonery, and was so regarded by every sensible person 
who witnessed it, as may be seen from the accounts in the 
newspapers. Yet the high commissioner represented it to 
the secretary of state as a serious matter, and the special 
magistrate was credited with having prevented an attack 
upon the republic by his influence with the British subjects 
at the fields. 

With information so incorrect as that supplied to him. 
Earl Kimberley caused despatches to be written which 
greatly increased the irritation existing in the Free State. In 
one of these despatches, dated on the 17th of November 
1870, the secretary of state expressed his views as follows : 

" Her Majesty's government would see with great dissatisfaction any 
encroachment on the Griqua territory by those republics, which would 
open to the Bo'ers an extended field for their slave - dealing operations, 
and probably lead to much oppression of the natives and disturbance of 
peace. ... I should wish you to discourage, by all practicable means 

366 History of the Orange Free State, [187 1 

short of the application of force, any combination of the Dutch Boers and 
English immigrants for the purpose of expelling or overpowering the 
native occupants of the lands, whether Griquas or other tribes." 

While using language such as this, which showed his 
absolute ignorance of the real condition of the country and 
its people, Earl Kimberley professed that he entertained the 
most friendl}^ feelings towards the republics. He was averse 
to the extension of the British dominions in South Africa, 
if extension implied increased responsibility or cost. On the 
24th of January 1871 he instructed Sir Henry Barldy " not 
to be a party to the annexation of any territory w^hich the 
Cape Colony would be unable to govern and defend by its 
own unaided resources." The Free State government had 
sent to the secretary of state for foreign affairs a protest 
against the appointment of British magistrates to exercise 
jurisdiction within its territory. The secretary of state for 
foreign affairs had referred the protest to the secretary of 
state for the colonies, and the secretary for the colonies left 
the matter to the high commissioner's judgment, with no 
other reservation than the above. 

On the 8th of March Sir Henry Barkly replied that ** it 
appeared to him that the British goveinment had already 
gone too far to admit of its ceasing to support the cause of 
either Waterboer or the diggers." 

Earl Kimberley then gave the high commissioner power 
to annex Waterboer's territory, which he believed contained 
the diamond-fields, because he had been so informed. But 
the power so given was only to be used under certain con- 
ditions, which, if they were observed, would prevent a wrong 
being done. The authority was conveyed in a despatch 
dated on the 18ih of May 1871, and containing a commission 
of her Majesty, issued on the preceding day. These docu- 
ments were thus worded : 

"It is not without reluctance that Her Majesty's government consent 
to extend the British territory in South Africa, but on a full considera- 
tion of all the circumstances, the presence of so large a number of 
British subjects on the diamond -fields, the probability that this number 

1871] Attitude of the High Commissio7ter. 367 

will rapidly increase, the danger of serious disturbances on the northern 
frontier of the Cape Colony if a regular authority is not established with- 
out delay in Waterboer's country, and the strong desire expressed both 
by Waterboer and the new settlers that the territory in question should 
be brought under British rule, they have come to the conclusion that 
they ought to advise Her Majesty to accept the cession offered by 
Waterboer, if the Cape parliament will formally bind itself to the 
conditions which you have indicated, namely, that the colony will under- 
take the responsibility of governing the territory which is to be united 
to it, together with the entire maintenance of any force which may be 
necessary for the preservation of order and the defence of the new 
border, such force not to consist of British troops, but to be a force 
raised and supported by the colony," 

" Victoria, by the grace of God, &c. Whereas divers of our subjects 
have settled in districts north of the Orange river in South Africa, and 
alleged to belong to certain native chiefs and tribes ; and whereas it is 
expedient, with the consent of such chiefs and tribes, and of the 
legislature of our colony of the Cape of Good Hope, to make provision 
for the government of certain of such districts as part of our said 
colony : now we do by this our commission under our sign manual and 
signet authorise you the said Sir Henry Barkly by proclamation under 
your hand and the public seal of our said colony to declare that, after a 
day to be therein mentioned, so much of such districts as to you, after 
due consideration, shall seem fit, shall be annexed to and form part of 
our dominions and of our said colony ; and we do hereby constitute 
and appoint you to be thereupon governor of the same, provided that 
you issue no such proclamation unless you have first ascertained that 
the native chiefs and tribes claiming the district so to be annexed are 
really entitled thereto and consent to such annexation, nor until the 
legislature of our said colony shall have provided by law that the same 
shall, on the day aforesaid, become part of our said colony and subject 
to the laws in force therein." 

His power to act being thus conditional, the high com- 
missioner applied to the Cape parliament for the authority 
needed. At that time the ministers were not dependent 
upon a majority in parliament, but held their offices by 
direct appointment of the secretary of state, and carried 
out whatever instructions the governor gave. They had the 
right of proposing measures and of debating in both 
chambers, but had no votes. The possession of the diamond- 
fields by any state or colony was regarded everywhere in 
the country as a great prize, and the governor believed that 
the Cape legislature would be eager to secure it. Before 

368 History of the Orange Free State, [187 1 

causing an annexation bill to be drafted, however, he desired 
to obtain an expression of opinion to serve as a guide when 
framing it, and therefore, on the 11th of July 1871 the 
colonial secretary moved in the house of assembly that the 
house should go into committee to consider the following 
proposition : 

"That in the opinion of this committee it ia desirable and needful, 
as well for the interests of this colony as with a view to the mainten- 
ance of peace and order on our borders, that the territory commonly 
designated the diamond-fields, partly belonging to the Griquas of West 
Griqualand under the government of Captain Nicholas Waterboer, and 
partly to other native chiefs and people living in the vicinity of the said 
Griquas, should, in accordance with the desire expressed by the large 
number of British subjects now located there, and with the sanction of 
Her Majesty the Queen and the consent of the said Griquas and other 
natives, be annexed to this colony. And this committee is further of 
opinion that if measures having for their object the annexation of the 
territories aforesaid and the good government of the people resident 
therein are introduced into the house of assembly by his Excellency 
the governor, it is expedient that the house should give the most 
favourable attention thereto, and should do what in it lies to make 
proper provision for the government and defence of the said territory, 
and for meeting the expenditure that may be occasioned thereby." 

Mr. King seconded the colonial secretary's proposal. Mr. 
J. C. Molteno — subsequently first prime minister of the 
colony under responsible government — moved as an amend- 
ment : 

"That considering the questions now before the parliament affecting 
the future constitution of this colony, and of the adoption of the 
principle of a federal with provincial governments, now before a com- 
mission for the purpose of inquiry and report, and also of the existence 
of questions affecting territorial rights of the Orange Free State and 
native tribes contiguous to the diamond-fields, still unsettled, this house 
is of opinion that it cannot at present entertain the question of the 
annexation of the territories commonly designated the diamond - fields 
to this colony." 

The amendment was seconded by Mr. Watermeyer, but 
upon being put to the vote, was lost, the division showing 
twenty - five for it and twenty - seven against. In conse- 
quence, on the 19fch of July the house of assemlily con- 
sidered the question in committee. The colonial secretary 

1 8; I J Action of the Cape Parliament. 369 

then moved his proposition as above, Mr. Molteno mov>ed 
his amendment, and four other amendments were proposed, 
of which two were withdrawn after discussion and the two 
following were submitted to the vote : 

1. By Mr. Poiter, to add to Mr. Molteno's proposition, 

"At the same time this committee, sensible of the evils likely to 
result to the large and still increasing population congregated on the 
diamond-fields, as well as to the people of this colony and those of 
the Free State, from leaving unsettled the dispute respecting the 
ownership of the main portion of the lands m question, desires to 
record its conviction that this dispute can be, and ought to be, 
decided justly and speedily, and without any considerable expense, by 
arbitrators to be found within the limits of South Africa, And 
this committee further considers that such a number of the armed 
and mounted police as the governor may deem necessary may, pend- 
ing the settlement of the existing dispute, and without prejudice to 
the rights of any of the parties to it, be employed in preserving 
order amongst the diggers, of whom so great a proportion are Cape 

2. By Mr. 0. A. Smith, to alter the colonial secretary's 
proposition, so that it should read as follows : 

"That in the opinion of this committee it is desirable and need- 
ful, as well for the interests of this colony as with a view to the 
maintenance of peace and order on our borders, that such part of the 
territories commonly designated the diamond-fields as belongs to the 
Griquas of West Griqualand under the government of Captain Nicholas 
Waterboer, or to other native chiefs and people living in the vicinity 
of the said Griquas, should, in accordance with the desire expressed 
by the large number of British subjects now located there, and with 
the sanction of Her Majesty the Queen and the consent of the said 
Griquas and other natives, be annexed to this colony. And this com- 
mittee is further of opinion that if measures having for their object 
the annexation of the territories aforesaid and the good government 
of the people resident therein are introduced into the house of 
assembly by his Excellency the governor, it is expedient that the 
house should give the most favourable attention thereto, and should 
do what in it lies to make proper provision for the government and 
defence of the said territory, and for meeting the expenditure that 
may be occasioned thereby." 

In the discussion that took place there was a general 
agreement that the acquisition of the diamond-fields would 
be of great advantage to the colony, that whatever territory 

VOL. lY. BB 

370 History of the Orange J^'ree State. [1871 

really belonged to Nicholas Waterboer ought to be annexed, 
and that no ground which of right was part of the Free 
State should be taken. But there were various views as to 
the method of determining Waterboer's true boundary. 
When the different propositions were put to the vote, Mr. 
Porter's was lost by thirty-five to sixteen, Mr. Molteno's was 
lost by twenty-eight to twenty-three, and Mr. Smith's was 
carried without a division, thus making it unnecessary to 
submit the colonial secretary's. 

On the 20th of July Mr. Smith's proposition, having thus 
become the resolution of the committee, was brought before 
the house, when a strong feeling was exhibited by many 
members not to interfere at all in the matter until the dis- 
pute with the Free State was settled. Even most of those 
who were in favour of immediate action were careful to state 
that in their opinion the bill to be brought in should provide 
against annexing any land that was not Waterboer's. And, 
modified as the resolution was, it was only carried by twenty- 
seven votes against twenty-six. It was then communicated 
to the governor by the speaker, and on the 24th was sent for 
consideration to the legislative council. In that chamber it 
was carried in committee on the 28 th by thirteen votes to 
six, but when it came on for reading, Mr. De Roubaix 
moved as an amendment : 

" That in the opinion of this council it is desirable that the 
diamond-fields should be annexed to this colony, but that such 
annexation should not be carried out until the question of disputed 
territory should have been finally settled." 

This amendment was only lost, and the resolution carried, 
by ten votes to nine. The governor, finding that notwith- 
standing all the influence and power of the ministers his 
plans were adopted by such narrow divisions, then abandoned 
the design of bringing in an annexation bill during that 
session. Instead of this, on the 5th of August, shortly 
before the prorogation of parliament, the colonial secretary 
moved a proposition in the house of assembly : 

"That pending the adjustment of the boundary dispute and the 
passing of a law for the annexation of the diamond-fields to this 

1871] Attitude of the High Co7nmissio7ier, 371 

colony, this committee is of opinion that the governor should be 
requested to adopt such measures as may appear to him to be neces- 
sary and practicable for the maintenance of order among the diggers 
and other inhabitants of that territory, as woU as for the collection 
of revenue and the administration of justice." 

The colonial secretary assured the house that it was not 
the intention of the government to take one inch of territory 
from the Free State, and with this assurance the proposition 
was adopted without a division. Two days later it was sent 
to the legislative council, and with the same understanding 
was assented to by that chamber. 

On the 15th of August the high commissioner forwarded 
the resolutions of the two houses of parliament to the secre- 
tary of state, feeling confident, he observed, that Earl 
Kimberley would regard the second as a substantial compli- 
ance with the requirements of the imperial government, and 
would sanction and approve such steps as he might take for 
carrying it into effect. " It struck him," he said, " as out of 
the question any longer to uphold the fiction of acting in 
Waterboer's name in the maintenance of order by the Cape 
mounted police, the collection of revenue from British sub- 
jects, and the administration of justice by British magis- 
trates." The secretary of state replied on the 2nd of October 
that the resolutions did not in themselves amount to a 
formal compliance with the conditions laid down in his 
despatch of the 18th of May, but her Majesty's government 
relied entirely on the judgment and discretion of the high 

During this time the correspondence had not ceased be- 
tween Sir Henry Barkly and President Brand. On the 18th 
of July the high commissioner informed the president " that 
he held a commission under the royal sign manual, author- 
ising him to accept the cession of territory offered by Captain 
Waterboer and to annex the same to the colony with such 
boundaries as he might see fit to proclaim ; but that he felt 
extremely reluctant irrevocably to fix the boundaries in 
direct opposition to the claims set up by the Orange Free 

372 History of the Orange Free State. [1871 

State, so long as the slightest chance existed of an amicable 
adjustment either by means of arbitration or otherwise." 
No solution of the difficulty was suggested, however, until 
the 3rd of October, when the president wrote, notifying that 
Advocate H. A. L. Hamelberg had been appointed pleni- 
potentiary and diplomatic agent of the Orange Free State 
in England, and would bring the question of the true import 
of the second article of the convention of 1854 under the 
notice of her Majesty's government. He offered to propose 
to the volksraad to submit all other matters in dispute to 
the arbitration of a board of six members, three to be chosen 
by the authorities of the Orange Free State and three by 
the high commissioner, with any of the heads of foreign 
governments previously mentioned as final umpire in case 
the board could not agree upon a decision. This proposal 
was rejected by the high commissioner, who announced that 
after annexation he would consent to arbitration by a purely 
local court, but a foreign umpire was not admissible. 

Mr. Hamelberg, upon reaching London, was referred by 
the secretary of state for foreign affairs to the secretary of 
state for the colonies. The latter declined to receive him in 
a diplomatic character, but granted him a personal inter- 
view, which led to nothing. He was informed that the 
rule would be adhered to that the governor of the Cape 
Colony should be the regular channel of communication 
between her Majesty's government and the Orange Free 

On the I7th of October the Keate award was published. 
The Free State was not concerned in it, but it gave Nicholas 
Waterboer the north-eastern boundary which Mr. Arnot 
claimed for him, and one extremity of that boundary was 
Platberg on the Vaal. Ten days later — 27th of October 
1871 — Sir Henry Barkly issued a series of proclamations, 
declaring the territory of Nicholas Waterboer part of the 
British dominions, making the laws of the Cape Colony 
applicable therein as far as circumstances would permit, 
establishing a high court of justice, making regulations for 

187 1] Action of the High Coymnissiom r, 373 

diamond digrorinor confirraincr the holders of i md in their 
possession of it, and dividing the territory into tne three 
magisterial distriets of Klip hilt, Pn'rl, and GnquatowD. 
The boundaries of the territory were laid down as, on the 
south the Orange river from Kheis to Ra^]:ah; on tbe east a 
line from Ramah to David's Graf and thence to tlie ^ unmit 
of Platbero^, on the nortii-east a Ime from the summit of 
Platberg to a point north of Boetsap ; further, various 
points in the desert round to Kheis. 

The following officers were appointed : Advocate J. D. 
Barry to be recorder of the high court, Attorney J. C. 
Thompson to be public prosecutor, Mr. Arthur Tweed to be 
registrar and master, Mr. P. L. Buyskes to be sheriff, Mr. J. 
Campbell to be civil commissioner and resident magistrate 
of the district of Klipdrift, Mr. Francis Orpen to be civil 
commissioner and resident magistrate of the district of 
Griquatown, and Messrs. J. Campbell, J. C. Thompson, and 
J. H. Bowker to be an executive committee to see that the 
instructions of the high commissioner were carried out. A 
magibtrate was not api.ointed to the district of Pniel, in 
which the dry diggings were situated, as it was hoped that 
Landdrost Truter, who was very popular with the diggers, 
would consent to continue his duties under the British 

In communicating these proceedings to the secretary of 
state by the next outgoing mail, Sir Henry Barkly wrote: 

"I intimated to Mr. Brand that I was about to proclaim Griqualand 
West British territory, with the boundary in question, and requested him 
to give directions to the officials of- the Free State in the disputed 
territory to withdraw in time, so as to avoid all risk of collision with 
the British authorities about to be stationed there. ... I am confident 
that the enthusiasm with which the announcement of the extension of 
her Majesty's sovereignty will be hailed by the great majority of the 
diggers will suffice to render all attempts at opposition fruitless, whilst 
the difficulties in which the Free State government have latterly found 
themselves involved in their dealings with that class of the community 
will probably dispose them to rest content with a protest against this 
mode of ejectment from a territory they have so unscrupulously 

374 History of the Orange Free State. [187 1 


'he whole territory annexed to the British dominions 
received the name of Griqualand West. It was about seven- 
teen thousand eight hundred square miles or forty - five 
thousand six hundred square kilometres in extent. That part 
of it comprised between the Vaal river, the Yetberg line, and 
the line from Ramah to Platbcrg, over which the Free State 
courts had exercised jurisdiction, and which, according to 
Sir Henry Barkly, the Free State government had " so 
unscrupulously usurped," contained between one hundred and 
forty and one hundred and fifty occupied farms. Over two 
hundred thousand acres of ground in it were held under 
British titles, granted during the Sovereignty period. It 
contained also the whole of the reserves along the Vaal set 
apart by the Sovereignty government for the use of the 
people of Jan Bloem, Scheel Kobus, David Danser, and 
Goliath Yzerbek, none of whom was ever dependent in any 
way upon Nicholas Waterboer or his father. It contained 
the Berlin station of Pniel, occupied by the Cats clan of 
Koranas, of which the reverend C. F. Wuras — who was then 
the resident missionary of Bethany and superintendent of 
the Berlin missions — testified that he had purchased the 
ground from Cornelis Kok, and had never heard of Water- 
boer's pretensions until recently ; but that the mission had 
always enjoyed peace, and justice, and protection under the 
Free State government. No Griquas were living within it. 
About a thousand Europeans young and old were residing on 
the farms, not one of whom knew anything more of Nicholas 
Waterboer than that he was a petty captain, with a 
following of five or six hundred souls all told, occupying a 
district on the other side of the river. 

On the 4th of November a small party of the Cape 
frontier armed and mounted police took possession of the 
dry diggings, and hoisted the British flag. Instead of the 
enthusiasm with which Sir Henry Barkly anticipated this 
act would be received, the great majority of the diggers 
kept very quiet. There was no uproar, and on the other 
side no symptom of satisfaction shown except by a small 

iSyi] Action of President Brand. 375 

party of blacks and a few white men not of the refined 
class, who followed the procession and cheered when the 
proclamations were read at the different camps. The dis- 
satisfaction of the Free State people and those colonists who 
sympathised with them was not publicly exhibited, and 
perhaps the strongest expressions of disapproval were those 
of Englishmen with a keen sense of honour, who were 
indignant at the act that was being performed in England's 
name. A protest was drawn up by Landdrost Truter, 
and handed to Inspector Gilfillan, who commanded the 
police. Much has since been written of this event, but no 
disinterested person, Englishman or foreigner, who has 
examined the subject, has ever attempted to justify it except 
on the plea that it was necessary for the predominant power 
in South Africa to be in possession of the diamond-fields. 

On the 7th President Brand published a formal protest, 
and indicated the course that his government would pursue, 
as follows. 

" Whereas I am desirous of preventing any collision between the 
governments and people of the Cape Colony and this state, who are 
allied to each other by the strongest ties of blood and friendship : 
therefore I hereby order and enjoin all officers, burghers, and residents 
of this state to guard against any action which might lead to such collision, 
in the fullest confidence that the information and explanations which 
will be given to Her Britannic Majesty's government in England by our 
plenipotentiary will secure the acknowledgment and recognition of our 
just rights." 

As Landdrost Truter showed no inclination to transfer his 
allegiance. Inspector Gilfillan was appointed to act as resi- 
dent magistrate and civil commissioner at the dry diggings. 
He assumed duty on the 16th of November, and on the same 
day Messrs. Campbell and Thompson, on behalf of Sir Henry 
Barkly, gave Mr. Truter notice that they would prevent the 
continuation of magisterial and other duties by him. A 
prisoner charged with theft, who was in custody of the Free 
State police, was that afternoon rescued by the police under 
Mr. Giifillan's orders. In accordance with President Brand's 

376 History of the Oraiige Free State, [1871 

instructions, the landdrost then sent in another protest, and 
on the 18th he retired to Bloemfontein. 

These acts were all approved and confirmed by the 
secretary of state in her Majesty's name, on the 8th of 
December, on which day a commission was issued appoint- 
ing Sir Henry Barkly governor of Griqualand West. In- 
deed, Earl Kimberley may almost be said to have directly 
authorised them, as on the 24th of July he had written to 
the high commissioner : 

"If, as I trust will be the case before this despatch reaches you, 
Waterboer's territory has been annexed to the Cape Colony with the 
consent of the colonial parliament, you will renew your offer to the 
Orange Free State of arbitration by a commission similar to that agreed 
to by the Transvaal State, assuring President Brand that whilst her 
Majesty's government have thought it their duty to accept Waterboer's 
proffer of allegiance in order to prevent the disorders which must result 
from the prolonged absence of a settled government at the diamond 
diggings, they desire that the question of limits should be determined 
with due regard to the claims of the Free State." 

On the 4th of December the volksraad met in special 
session to consider what should be done. A very large 
proportion of the burghers were disposed to take up arms, 
even though defeat was certain, in order to draw the atten- 
tion of European powers to what was taking place. The 
president, who was doing all he possibly could to pacify 
the people, opened the session with an address in which he 
said : 

''I have, with the advice of the executive council, considered the 
mode of protest as the way in which it behoves us to act, in the full 
reliance that our good right will be ultimately acknowledged and 
respected by her Britannic Majesty's government. I cherish this con- 
fidence because I am convinced that the government of England will 
do no injustice to the Orange Free State, but that the difficulties in 
which we are now involved and the vexatious proceedings towards 
this state are solely to be ascribed to the erroneous impressions which 
the British government have received in regard to the Free State. 
And that erroneous opinions are really entertained in England regard- 
ing the government and population of the Orange Free State appears 
clearly from the published despatches of the secretary of state for the 
colonies to his Excellency the high commissioner and governor of the 
Cape Colony. Mention is therein made of infringements of the territory 

1 871] Meeting of the Volksraad. Z77 

of the natives in order to have wider sccpe for slave-dealing, and of 
the want of a regular government at the diamond-fields as a reason 
for adopting Captain Waterboer and his people as British subjects ; 
whereas every one who is in the least degree acquainted with the 
Orange Free State is fully aware that nothing even remotely resembling 
slave-dealing exists there ; that the territory above the Vetberg lino 
was never inhabited by Waterboer and his people, but has been for a 
number of years under the government of this state ; that all disputes 
and trials arising within that territory are decided by the law courts 
of this state and by the court of final appeal ; and that after the 
large increase of population at the diamond- ti elds, the government of 
the state, by constituting Pniel a separate district and appointing a 
landdrost and other officers thereto, have striven to meet the 
requirements of the diggers as fully as possible. 

"When these and other erroneous impressions, of which we are 
yet unaware, shall have been put in the proper light by our repre- 
sentative to her Majesty's government, I fully expect that we shall be 
reinstated in the enjoyment of our violated rights, and that although 
this young state, with its population limited to thousands, cannot 
possibly cope in armed resistance with large and powerful England, 
with its population of millions, still the sense of justice and equity 
entertained by the government and people of Great Britain will lead 
to the restitution of our infringed rights.'' 

The volksraad remained in session until the 8th of 
December, the discussions being carried on during the 
greater part of the time with closed doors. During the 
open sittings not a single voice was raised in favour of such 
arbitration as the high commissioner desired, the opinion of 
every speaker being that it would prove a mere sham, as Sir 
Henry Barkly would certainly nominate men who would 
decide as he wished, and so remove from him the stigma of 
having seized the property of a weaker neighbour. The 
idea of all was an appeal to public opinion in Europe. 
Several of the members were in favour of considering the 
violation of their territory an act of war, and taking up 
arms as the best means of attractinor notice. Action so rash 
was, however, overruled, and on the last day of the session 
it was agreed to publish a protest, and circulate it as widely 
as possible. This document was worded as follows: 

"Whereas his Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, her Britannic Majesty's 
high commissioner in South Africa and governor of the British colony 

378 History of the Orange Free State. [187 1 

of the Cape of Good Hope, has by proclamation dated the 27th of 
October 1871 accepted Captain Nicholas Waterboer and his people as 
British subjects, and has proclaimed to be British territory a large tract 
of country to the south cf Yaal River, for a long course of years governed 
by the Orange Free State and the property of and inhabited by Free 
State subjects ; whereas thereby infringement Is made on the territorial 
rights of the Orange Free State, and the treaty formerly concluded and 
subsequently acknowledged between her Britannic Majesty and the 
Orange Free State is thereby violated ; whereas in said proclamation 
allegations are made as motives for this proceeding of her Britannic 
Majesty's high commissioner, which cannot be admitted by the Orange 
Free State as just and well-founded ; and whereas in regard to the 
inhabitants of the Orange Free State and their conduct erroneous 
impressions exist, which might bring them as a people into contempt 
in the eyes of European nations : 

''The volksraad of the Orange Free State has resolved to be com- 
pelled to confirm, as it hereby does confirm, all the protests made up 
to this time by the state president of the Orange Free State against 
the said proclamation and the proceedings of the high commissioner ; 
and solemnly and formally to protest, as it hereby does protest, and 
must ever persist in protesting, against the proclamation above mentioned 
and the proceedings of his Excellency Sir Henry Barkly in regard to 
Captain Nicholas Waterboer and his people and the proclaimed territory, 
as being an infringement of the territorial rights of the Orange Free 
State, obtained from the predecessors of her Britannic Majesty's high 
commissioner similarly acting in the name of the Queen of England, and 
a violation of the convention concluded on the 23rd of February 1854 
between her Britannic Majesty's government and the Orange Free State, 
which convention was on the 12th of February 1869 at Aliwal North 
acknowledged by Sir Philip Wodehouse, her Britannic Majesty's high 
commissioner at that time. 

"And the volksraad, considering that it thereby maintains the interests 
of the people which it represents, and upholds the dignity of the Orange 
Free State, has deemed it incumbent to publish to the world the reasons 
of its protest, with some grounds for the claims of the Free State people, 
and publicly to refute the accusations brought against it. 

"The volksraad therefore communicates to the world that by pro- 
clamation of his Excellency Sir H. G. Smith, at that time her Majesty's 
high commissioner in South Africa, dated 3rd of February 1848, the 
sovereignty of her Britannic Majesty was established over the country 
situated between Orange River, Vaal River, and the Drakensberg ; and 
by further proclamation of his Excellency Sir H. G. Smith that pro- 
claimed territory was divided into four magistracies, viz., Griqualand, 
with Bloemfontein as its seat of government, Winburg, with Winburg as 
its seat of magistracy, Vaal River, with Vrededorp — now Harrismith— 
as its seat of magistracy, and Caledon River, with Smithfield as its seat 

187 1] Protest of the Volksraad, 379 

of magistracy. The supremacy of her Britannic Majesty was then estab- 
lished over all people, whether white or coloured, living within those 
limits. Of that proclaimed territory a chart was made, which must still 
be found in the archives of the British government, on which the said 
proclaimed territory was delineated as bounded by Yaal River, Orange 
River, and Drakensberg. 

**In 1854 her Britannic Majesty withdrew said sovereignty over this 
country, and a plenipotentiary — Sir George Russell Clerk, — commissioned 
by her Majesty, addressed himself to the white inhabitants then dwelling 
in the territory, and urged it upon them to take over the government 
of that territory. 

"Few in number, and surrounded by hostile and powerful coloured 
tribes, these white inhabitants were reluctant to take its government 
upon themselves ; but constrained by her Britannic Majesty's pleni- 
potentiary, and hearing that no choice was left them, inasmuch as the 
abandonment of the country was determined on, they accepted the 
government of this territory. 

" On the 23rd of February 1854 a convention was concluded between 
the said plenipotentiary of her Britannic Majesty and the delegates of 
the white population of this territory, in which convention, among other 
matters, the people of the Orange River Sovereignty — now Orange Free 
State — was declared to be a free and independent people, and was 
released from its British allegiance ; and, — being surrounded by hostile 
and powerful coloured tribes, with which a collision must sooner or later 
inevitably take place, the white population having been invested against 
their will with the government of the country which her Britannic Majesty 
had so abandoned, — secured to itself, under the second article of the con- 
vention, the following advantages : The British Government has no alliance 
whatever with any native chiefs or tribes to the northward of Orange Kivery 
with the exception of the Griqua chief Captain Adam Kok ; and her 
Majesty's Government has no wish or intention to enter hereafter into any 
treaties which may be injurious or prejudicial to the interests of the Orange 
Free State government. Besides this, a free import of ammunition from 
the Cape Colony was at the same time guaranteed. For, being wholly 
left to themselves, few in number, surrounded by powerful tribes which 
had been rendered their enemies by ^v^ars which the British government 
had waged against those tribes, and deprived for the time to come of the 
strong Hand of England which had up to that time protected them, that 
small people were under the necessity of at least stipulating that the 
powerful hand of England should not be lifted up to their detriment on 
behalf of those hostile coloured tribes. Without the guarantee secured 
by the second article of the convention, the taking over of the govern- 
ment was an impossibility. 

' Between the years 1848 and 1854 her Britannic Majesty's representa- 
tives in tbif' territory issued many titles to land, and also established 
the magistracy of Griqualand, of v/hich Bloemfontein was at first the 

380 History of the Orange Free State. [187 1 

capital, but of which a portion, with Sannah's Poort or Fauresraith for 
its capital, was subsequently formed into a separate district Whence it 
also arose that on the taking over of the government, delegates from 
Bloerafontein, Winburg, Caledon River. Vaal River, and Sannah's Poort, 
as representatives of the whole white population of the country, took over 
the government. The government handed over to them extended over 
the country proclaimed in 1848 by his Excellency Sir H. G. Smith British 
territory,* by proclamation in 1854 discharged from British supremacy, 
and by the convention on the 23rd of February 1854 ceded to a people 
from that time forward free and independent. 

"The white population being thus, against their will, charged with the 
government of the country and the management of their own affairs, 
established a republic, and gave to this territory the title of Orange Free 
State. By the convention of 1854 the new government — later denominated 
the Orange Free State government — bound itself that the titles to property 
and land-rights granted by the British government should be guaranteed, 
and that the owners thereof should not be disturbed in their possession. 
Faithful to the obligation thus assumed, the Orange Free State protected 
those who had obtained such titles, and among others those to whom 
titles had been granted in that tract of country now proclaimed by his 
Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, as the property of Captain Nicholas 
Waterboer, to be British territory. Over this tract of country the Free 
State government has for a number of years exercised jurisdiction, the 
courts of the Free State have settled disputes between the inhabitants 
of those now proclaimed grounds, taxes have been levied, and all 
rights and obligations attached to sovereignty have been enjoyed and 

" The titles for landed property granted by the British government 
between the years 1848 and 1854 in the tract of country recently pro- 
claimed British territory are now alleged to have been granted only 
provisionally, or by mistake, although the Orange Free State bound 
itself to the maintenance of those very titles, and although those titles 
for land obtained from the British government have subsequently passed 
by sale and transfer into other hands, which transactions have been 
recorded in the land registers of the Free State. 

"In 1865 the Free State — compelled by the reiterated violation of 
treaties, the neglect to fulfil solemn promises, the incessant robberies, and 
the presumptuous proceedings of the Basuto nation — girded on its sword, 
and declared war against that nation. In 1866 a peace was concluded 
with the Basuto nation, and a new treaty was signed whereby that nation 

*This is an error, as the reserves for the use of the coloured residents wfre not 
transferred. The right of the Orange Free State to the territory between the 
Vaal river, the Vetberg line, and the line from Ramah to Platberg was not affected 
in the sHghtest degree by this mistake ; but a large portion of the document 
pubUshed by Sir Henry Barkly as a reply to this protest is devoted to a refutation 
of it. 

iSyi] Protest of the Volksraad. 381 

ceded a tract of country by way of indemnification for war expenses. 
That treaty was not respected, but was wantonly broken, and the Free 
State was once more forced to take up arms. Notwithstanding the pro- 
visions of the second article of the convention, England interfered in that 
dispute, declared the Basuto nation British subjects, and prohibited the 
transit of ammunition we required, although solemnly bound by that 
convention to allow it. And although the British government, on the 
protest of the Orange Free State against that interference as being a 
violation of the second article of the convention of 1854, alleged that 
their protection of the natives in this case did not tend to the detriment 
of the Free State, still the right did not then accrue to them utterly to 
negative the opposite view of the other contracting party, to refuse to hear 
them, and so to act as if such other party had no voice in the judgment 
of its own concerns. And in 1889 a convention was at last concluded at 
Aliwal North on that question between her Britannic Majesty's high com- 
missioner and the Orange Free State, whereby the convention of 1854 
was confirmed and declared not to have been violated by the proceedings 
of her Britannic Majesty on the Basuto question. 

" On the 15th of September 1870 it was announced to the president of 
the Orange Free State by Lieutenant-General Hay, at that time acting 
governor of the Cape Colony, that Waterboer and his people had applied 
to be accepted as British subjects, and it was demanded of the Orange 
Free State to bring forward its proofs of right to the grounds claimed 
by Waterboer. Four days later — before the letter of the 15th of 
September 1870 could have reached Bloemfontein, the capital of the 
Free State — the Orange Free State was apprised that British 
magistrates would be appointed by the British government in the 
now proclaimed grounds then actually in its possession and under its 

" The government of the Orange Free State, as representing a free 
and independent people, acknowledged as an independent State by 
friendly powers — among others by the United States of North America, 
Germany, France, Russia, Austria, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands, — 
having concluded conventions and agreements with her Britannic 
Majesty's government, and consequently being recognised by her Majesty 
as such, offered to submit the decisign of the claims advanced by Captain 
Nicholas Waterboer, and of the rights of the Orange Free State to those 
grounds ' now proclaimed, to the arbitration of the head of a friendly 
power ; at the same time urging for a similar decision regarding the true 
meaning ol the second article of the convention of the 23rd February 
1854, grounding such claim on the law of nations, as granting such right 
even when one party is weak and the other powerful. This offer was 
refused by her Britannic Majesty's government, and in a despatch of 
Earl Kimberley, dated 29th of July 1871, the Orange Free State was 
informed that England cannot allow foreign arbitration in South Africa, 
because serious embarrassments might arise therefrom. 

382 History of ike Orange Free State, [187 1 

"On the 27th of October 1871 that territory which has long been 
governed by the Orange Free State, and in which since 1869 rich diamond 
mines have been discovered, was in the name of her Majesty taken away 
from the Free State and, as the property of Nicholas Waterboer, pro- 
claimed to be British territory. And, although the claims of the Orange 
Free State to sovereignty over that territory are denied to have ever 
existed, the occupiers of those grounds are nevertheless guaranteed in 
their rights to them, if acquired from the Orange Free State before 
January 1870. 

" In the proclamation declaring said grounds to be British territory, 
the following reasons are alleged for this proceeding : that the Orange 
Free State has obstinately refused to submit to arbitration the existing 
difference between their government and her Britannic Majesty, acting on 
behalf of Waterboer, or has attached to it impossible conditions. While, on 
the contrary, the Orange Free State has all along been, and still is, 
willing to submit its claims to such an arbitration as consists with inter- 
national right, to which the Orange Free State as a free and independent 
state considers itself entitled. 

"In a despatch of Earl Kimberley, dated 21st of July 1871, as a motive 
for proclaiming the diamond-fields British territory, it is stated that 
Waterboer's offer is accepted to prevent the irregularities which would 
arise from a prolonged absence of a regular government at the diamond- 
fields. But the Orange Free State most positively denies the soundness 
of this reasoning, because magistrates were appointed by the Free State 
over those diamond-fields, a police force was supplied, courts of justice 
were established, and thousands of subjects of all nations Vere protected 
by the Orange Free State in their property and persons ; and that in 
such a manner that after the forcible seizure of the diamond-fields by 
her Britannic Majesty's government, addresses signed by a great number 
of Englishmen were forwarded to his Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, 
requesting that under the British government the magistracy might be 
conferred upon the gentleman who had hitherto represented the Free 
State government. And in those addresses the following words, among 
others, occur : that your memorialists, in accepting the administration of 
the British government now in force in the abovementioned and other places 
constituting the territory known as the diamond-fields, desire respectfully 
to draw your Excellency's attention to the satisfactory and efficient manner in 
which the Frbd State government has maintained law and order among the large 
number of people now 'present at the diamond-fields. And while the existence 
of a regular government at the diamond-fields is denied, the functionaries 
appointed to those fields since his Excellency's proclamation are ofi'ering the 
Free State government to take over by purchase the prison and other official 
public buildings. The newspapers, likewise, published at the diamond-fields, 
are filled with comparisons between the former Orange Free State administra- 
tion and the British system now violently introduced, which comparisons are 
to the advantage of the Orange Free State government. 

1 871] Protest of the Vclksraad. 383 

"In a letter, dated 23rd of October 1871, from his Excellency Sir Henry 
Barkly, conveying copy of the proclamation of the diamond - fields, the 
authenticity of a letter from Captain Andries Waterboer, father of Nicholas 
Waterboer, dated 10th of February 1846, is called in question on the 
ground of a simple denial by Captain Nicholas Waterboer, and the Orange 
Free State government is thus indirectly accused of forgery, although 
the said letter of Captain Andries Waterboer was found by the Orange 
Free State government among the documents taken over from the British 
government, while the receipt of that letter is acknowledged by the 
former British government in the known handwriting, attached to the 
letter, of a British functionary then in the service of that government. 

" In a despatch, dated 17th of November 1870, Earl Kimberley accused 
the people of the Free State of slave-dealing, an accusation which the 
people of the Orange Free State indignantly repel. It invites friendly 
powers to inquire whether this accusation has any foundation, and fears not 
the result of the inquiry. 

" Besides, the entire correspondence carried on by his Excellency with 
the Free State shows that no disposition for an accord exists with him. 
All proofs advanced by the Free State are treated with contempt, or 
their authenticity is questioned, and to everything advanced by Waterboer, 
even pure and simple assertions, instant belief is conceded ; and all this is 
the more remarkable, because the Free State people is bound to the 
population of the Cape Colony by intimate ties of relationship, and never 
has interposed the slightest difficulty towards the Cape Colony. 

"As an independent though weak nation, not willing to have forced 
upon it by a stronger neighbour a mode of arbitration in which the people 
of the Free State have no confidence, it refuses, and will persist in refusing, 
the arbitration oftered it by his Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, with a 
final umpire in South Africa, as an ultimatum. For the people of the 
Orange Free State will not furnish the show of right wherewith in such 
a case the injustice inflicted on them would be cloaked. As an independent 
people, they resolve to persist in their determination to claim — as a member, 
however small and weak, of the brotherhood of nations — to enjoy the 
privileges to which the law of nations entitles them. 

*'And whereas in the said proclamation of his Excellency Sir Henry 
Barkly, dated 27th of October 1871, British supremacy is still further 
proclaimed over a great extent of country, including the so-called Campbell 
grounds, in v/hich also rich diamond mines have been discovered, and 
which lies on the other side or west of the Vaal river ; whereas the Orange 
Free State lays claim to the thus proclaimed Campbell grounds by virtue 
of a purchase in 1861 from the general agent of the Griqua chief, Captain 
Adam Kok ; whereas the decision of the claims of the Orange Free State 
to those Campbell grounds, notwithstanding repeated fruitless negotiations 
with Captain Nicholas Waterboer, has not yet taken place ; and whereas 
also in that respect infringement has been made on the rights and claims 
pf the Orango Free State : 

384 History of the Orange Free State, [1871 

" The volksraad of the Orange Free State likewise protests formally and 
solemnly against the establishment of British supremacy over that territory, 
usually called the Campbell grounds, and against all the proceedings of his 
Excellency the high commissioner. 

"And believing that the Most High controls the destinies of nations 
and protects the weak, the people of the Orange Free State humbly but 
confidently commits its rights and future well-being to that Supreme 
Ruler, feeling assured that such reliance can never be disappointed. 

"F. P. ScHNEHAGE, Chairman, 
" JoH. Z. DE YiLLiERS, Secretary." 

Though the principal diamond-fields were thus severed from 
the Free State, two mines remained within its limits: those 
on the farms Jagersfontein and KofFyfontein, both a long 
distance east of the line from Ramah to Platberg. 

During this time the revenue of the republic was rapidly 
increasing. The loss of the largest diamond mines only 
affected the state treasury nominally, for the cost of 
government there absorbed the whole of the receipts. An 
excellent market for farm produce of all kinds remained, and 
the people of the Free State made good use of it. Gold and 
silver money speedily became plentiful, and before the close 
of 1871 the bluebacks, or paper currency, rose to be worth 
19s. 6d. in the pound. The public revenue in 1870 was 
£56,453, in 1871 £64,110, and in 1872 £70,011, and the 
expenditure was kept well within it, so that the loans were 
being paid off. Of the £43,000 in notes issued to meet the 
Basuto war expenses, £17,000 were called in and destroyed 
before 1872. 

In May 1871 provision was made by the volksraad for the 
appointment of landdrosts to the villages of Bethlehem and 
Rouxville, thus creating two new districts. 

Prosperity was now dawning on the republic, after the 
series of arduous struggles which its citizens had gone 
through. But the memory of those who had laid down their 
lives for their country in the recent war with the Basuto tribe 
was still fresh. That future generations might have before 
their eyes something to remind them of what their ancestors 
had gone through, a monument was erected in Bloemfontein 







Tropic of Capricor" 

30 - 

Longitude 24 E of Oreenw lch 

Jtooirrfi- ett,j'Ji^>^ '-"»"■ 


lonSbim,, Smm, Sonncnsch^in. & Co if.' 

10 20 30 «3 50 

187 1 ] Unveiling of a Momimeni. 385 

in remembrance of the brave men who had fallen. The 
monument was unveiled with befitting ceremony on Monday 
the 29th of May 1871, after religious service in the Dutch 
Reformed church."^ Addresses were made by the state 
president, the chairman of the volksraad, and other men of 
note, one of the most stirring being by the clergyman of the 
English church, who trusted that the Free State through all 
time would be found fighting, as in the past, only when its 
cause was just. 

* Copy of Inscription on the Monument near the Fort in Bloemfontein. 

(North side, facing the Town) : 



van de 



van 1865-1868 



{East side): 

1 December, 1865 


6 December, 1865 


22 January, 1866 

{South side) : 








( West side) : 


14 Junij, 1865 

29 Junij, 1865 

14 Julij, 1865 

25 Julij, 1865 




On the 27th of October 1871 the territory claimed by Mr. 
Arnot for the Griqua captain Nicholas Waterboer, containing 
the diamond fields, was proclaimed by Governor Sir Henry 
Barkly part of the British dominions, and the opportunity 
of uniting the different colonies and states of South Africa 
in a peaceable and friendly manner was unfortunately 
thrown away. Every man in the Free State believed that 
an act of great injustice had been committed, and the great 
majority of the Dutch speaking people in the Cape Colony 
and Natal were of the same opinion. Of the English 
speaking colonists, very few were found to defend the act, 
though the feeling was general that the Free State govern- 
ment was not strong enough to maintain order in case of 
disturbances by the people who were coming from Europe 
and America by thousands to seek wealth at the fields. 

But, whatever opinion in South Africa may have been 
as to the right of Waterboer to the territory north of the 
Modder river in which the diamond fields were situated, the 
authorities in England certainly believed that he had such right, 
and the documents in their possession on the subject must have 
seemed to them conclusive on that point. Of the real 
history of the Griquas they knew nothing, and consequently 
could not see the absurdity of Mr. Arnot's claim on behalf 
of the petty elected captain Nicholas Waterboer to a vast 
extent of territory far from the residence of the little 
community of under six hundred souls, all told, that he 
presided over, which territory his people had never occupied, 

and to which they had no hereditary right or title other 


1872] Reply to the Free State Protest, 387 

than an agreement between two intruding captains dividicg 
all the land from the desert to the Caledon river between 

The protest of the Orange Free State has been given in a 
previous chapter, the following is Mr. Arnot's case, as drawn 
up by the colonial secretary, Mr. Richard Southey, in 
opposition to it, and transmitted to England :— 

"The volksraad of the Orange Free State, in its protest 
published on the 19th day of December 1871, asserts that infringe- 
ment has been made upon its territorial rights and that the treaty 
subsisting between it and her Majesty's government has been 
violated by her Majesty's acceptance of the allegiance of the chief 
Nicholas Waterboer and the Griqua people, and by the governor of 
this colony having by proclamation of the 27th of October 1871 
notified that acceptance and proclaimed as British territory a certain 
tract of country south of the Vaal river, for a long series of years 
governed by the Orange Free State and the property of and 
inhabited by Free State subjects. 

** In support of this assertion they allege 

" 1st. That by a proclamation issued on the 3rd of February 
1848 by Sir H. G. W. Smith, then her Majesty's high com- 
missioner, the sovereignty of her Majesty was established over all 
the country lying between the Orange and Vaal rivers and the 
Drakensberg range of mountains, and that by a subsequent 
proclamation this country was divided into four magistracies or 
districts, named respectively Griqualand, Winburg, Vaal River, 
and Caledon river, each having its seat of magistracy at a named 
spot, and that the supremacy of her Majesty was then established 
over all people whether white or coloured living within those limits, 
and the world, to which the protest is addressed, is informed that 
these magisterial districts included the whole territory between the 
two rivers and the mountains above named, and it is implied that 
the magistrates exercised jurisdiction over all the inhabitants of 
whatever nation or colour, under and by virtue of her Majesty's 

" 2nd. That in 1854 her Majesty's sovereignty was withdrawn 
from the country, and that Sir George Russell Clerk, acting as 
her Majesty's special commissioner, transferred the government 
over the whole of it to certain white inhabitants, who formed 
themselves into a republic and named it the Orange Free State, 

388 History of Griqualand West. [1872 

" 3rcl. That a portion of the territory of the Orange Free State 
so transferred by Sir G. R. Clerk has been seized by her Majesty 
on behalf of Waterboer and his Griquas, and the Orange Free State 
deprived thereby of its sovereign rights therein. 

"And they allege further that by the convention between Sir 
G. R. Clerk and certain white inhabitants of the country the latter 
secured for themselves the following advantages : ' The British 
government has no alliance whatever with any native chiefs or 
tribes to the northward of the Orange river with the exception of 
the Griqua chief Captain Adam Kok, and her Majesty's government 
has no wisli or intention to enter hereafter into any treaties which 
may be injurious or prejudicial to the interests of the Orange Free 
State government ; ' besides this a free import of ammunition from 
the Cape Colony was at the same time guaranteed. 

" And that notwithstanding this stipulation by wliich the com- 
paratively few white inhabitants secured for themselves these 
advantages, which had been rendered necessary because they were 
surrounded by powerful tribes which had become their enemies in 
consequence of wars waged upon those tribes by the British 
government, that government disregarded the stipulation and 
entered into engagements with native chiefs and tribes north of 
the Orange river, without the consent and approval of the govern- 
ment of the Orange Free State ; and on one occasion, when that 
state was at war with the Basutos, set aside the agreement 
respecting ammunition, and stopped the free import thereof from 
this colony. 

" The foregoing appears to form the substance of the charges 
preferred by the Free State government against her Majesty's 
government, and of the arguments put forward by the former in 
support of its charges. The protest is so diffuse and contradictory 
as to render it a matter of some difficulty to reply to its statements 
seriatim or with due conciseness. 

" In one part of the protest it is asserted that the government 
of the whole of the territory over which her Majesty's sovereignty 
had been proclaimed in 1848 was in 1854 handed over to the few 
white inhabitants, who formed it into a republic and named the 
same the Orange Free State. In another part it is alleged that 
the native tribes by which the white people were surrounded had 
been made the enemies of the latter by wars waged upon them by 
the British government. Again, in a third place, it is stated that 
in 1865 the Free State, compelled by the reiterated violations 

1872] Reply to the Free State Protest. 389 

of treaties, the neglect to fulfil solemn promises, the incessant 
robberies and presumptuons proceedings of the Basuto nation, 
girded on its sword and declared war against that nation. In 1866 
a peace was concluded with the Basuto nation and a new treaty 
signed, whereby that nation ceded a tract of country by way of 
indemnification for war expenses. That treaty was not respected, 
but was wantonly broken, and the Free State was once more 
forced to take up arms. 

" These assertions are, it will be seen, irreconcilable with each 
other. The Basutos possessed and occupied a very large portion 
of the territory between the Orange river, the Vaal river, and the 
Drakensberg, the whole of which (according to the protest) was 
taken possession of by the British government in 1848, divided into 
four districts presided over by magistrates, and in 1854 handed 
over to the white inhabitants ; yet the same protest alludes to those 
natives as the Basuto nation, and to treaties entered into between 
the Free State and the Basuto nation, as well as a tract of country 
ceded to the Free State by that nition (which tract was altogether, 
as indeed was the whole country, occupied by the Basuto nation 
within the limits which the protest assigns to British dominion 
ceded to the v/hite inhabitants and forming the Orange Free State), 
and it further makes mention of wars waged against these natives 
by the British government ; all which statements are totally 
inconsistent with the idea previously set forth that the natives 
were in the first place British subjects ruled over by British 
magistrates, and subsequently subjects of the Orange Free State 
government and their territories included within the. boundaries 
of that state. 

"In order to form a just opinion upon the subject and to 
ascertain precisely in regard to territory what was possessed by 
the British government in 1854 and what was handed over to the 
white inhabitants who formed themselves into a republic denomi- 
nated the Orange Free State, it is desirable briefly to notice the 
occurrences prior to that date, referring to official documents in 
support of the facts that will be adduced and the view of the case 
which will be maintained in this comment upon the volksraad's 
protest, namely that the British government in 1854 had no 
territorial possessions between the Orange and Vaal rivers and 
the Drakensberg except such as had been acquired by treaty 
agreements from the native tribes, and that it handed over to 
the white inhabitants no more than the territory so acquired. 

390 History of Griqualand West, [1872 

(Here follows a correct account of the action of Sir Peregrine 
Maitland, Sir Harry Smith, and Sir George Clerk, which need not be 
given, as it has appeared in another volume). 

" In further proof of the admission by the Free State government 
that the lands claimed by Waterboer between the Vaal river and the 
line from Ramah to Platberg were at the time of the convention 
with Sir G. R. Clerk beyond the limits of the territory which the 
white inhabitants at that time possessed, it may be mentioned that 
from 1854 to 1858 lands within those limits were professedly 
alienated both by grant and sale by a Griqua named Cornelius Kok, 
who is represented by the Free State government itself to have 
been an independent territorial chief; but this is denied by 
Waterboer, who states that although the said C. Kok was at oriO 
time a petty officer under his government, he had been removed 
from office for misconduct long before the land transactions in 
question, and had at no time had the power to dispose of the 
Griqua territory. 

" These facts conclusively establish the position which was laid 
down in an earlier part of this memorandum, namely that the 
British government had not acquired and did not possess lands 
within the boundary claimed by Waterboer, and that it only ceded 
or purported to cede to the white inhabitants those lands which it 
did possess. The question then arises, what is the boundary of 
Waterboer's territory on the side of the Orange Free State? and 
that boundary, as already stated, was defined by treaty between the 
two branches of the Griqua nation in 1838, to run from Ramah 
on the Orange river northwards to Platberg. The Free State 
government disputes this line, and declares as a boundary between 
Griqualand West and that state a certain other line denominated 
the Vetberg line, which, instead of running as the former line, runs 
parallel to the course of the Vaal river, cuts at right angles to it, 
and gives to the Free State a very extensive tract of country claimed 
by Waterboer as belonging to his territory. Waterboer has always 
been willing and anxious to settle the question of right to the tract 
of land in question by arbitration, but could never obtain the 
consent of the Free State government to submit its claim to such 
an ordeal. And the British government, in notifiying to that of 
the Free State its accession to the prayer of Waterboer and his 
people to be received as British subjects, intimated its willingness 
to allow the question of boundary to be still the subject of 
decision by arbitration, and that offer is still open. 

1872] Reply to the Free State Protest. 391 

(Here follows a statement concerning the Baauto wars and 
matters relating only to the Griquas of Adam Kok, which it is 
not necessary to give). 

"As regards the charge that the convention of 1854 had been 
infringed by the action taken by the British government in pro- 
hibiting the free transit of ammunition, although solemnly bound 
by an article of that convention to allow it, it should be observed 
that the stipulation of that convention on this subject stands as 
follows, namely : * The Orange Biver government shall have 
freedom to purchase their supplies of ammunition in any British 
colony or possession in South Africa, subject to the laws provided 
for the regulation of the sale and transit of ammunition in such 
colonies and possessions.' The laws and regulations referred to 
in this article provide that all persons desiring to purchase arms 
and ammunition must before doing so obtain permits from certain 
officers in the district in which the purchase is to be made ; and 
no ammunition beyond a limited quantity can be conveyed from 
one part of the colony to another, or beyond the boundaries of 
the colony, unless the person conveying it provide himself with 
a similar official permission. 

*'The object for which these laws were enacted was to prevent 
arms and ammunition from getting into the hands of those who 
it might be thought would be likely to make use of the same in 
a way adverse to the interests of the colony. 

" At the commencement of the last war between the Orange Free 
State and the Basutos, the governor of this colony, Sir P. E. 
Wodehouse, issued a proclamation commanding all British subjects 
to abstain from taking part in that war on either side, and in fact 
to observe a strict neutrality. During the progress of the war it 
was reported in the newspaper published at Bloemfontein, the seat 
of the Free State government, that an officer of that government 
was in communication with British subjects and endeavouring to 
induce them to raise levies within the colony to take part with 
the Free State against the Basutos, holding out the inducement 
that all stock or other property which they might succeed in taking 
from the Basutos should be retained by them as compensation for 
their services, and the same paper stated that this conduct on the 
part of the Free State officer was approved of by his government. 
Upon the governor of this colony becoming aware of this trans- 
action, he addressed a friendly remonstrance thereon to the 
president of the Free State. 

392 History of Griqualand West. [1872 

"Correspondence ensued and was continued during several months, 
in the course of which the governor warned the Free State 
government that if it persisted in its endeavour to induce British 
subjects from this colony to become freebooters on its side against 
the Basutos, it would become his duty to consider w^hether he 
would be justified in permitting this colony to continue the supply 
of ammunition for carrying on such a war. This correspondence 
on the Free State part being unsatisfactory to his Excellency, he 
directed the officers who were by law authorised to grant permits 
for the purchase of arms and ammunition to discontinue until the 
receipt of further orders their issue in favour of the Free State 

" From a consideration of the foregoing remarks, it will be 
perceived : 

" 1st. Tiiat the allegations of the Free State volksraad, as 
contained in the protest under review, are based upon an entirely 
erroneous construction of the actual history of the country, as the 
large tract of country to the south of the Vaal river which the 
volksraad claims as having been for a long course of years governed 
by the Orange Free State and the property of and inhabited by 
Free State subjects was beyond question prior to the issue of Sir 
H. Smith's proclamation the property of the Griquas of Griqualand 
West, did not by force of that proclamation cease to be their 
property, and has never at any subsequent date been alienated by 
their government. 

" 2ndly. That her Majesty's special commissioner Sir George 
Clerk, in ceding to the white inhabitants the lands to the north of 
the Orange river which belonged to the British government, did 
not cede or profess to cede any portion of the territory of the 
chief Waterboer, and that the government of the Orange Free 
State at the beginning and during the earlier part of its existence 
well understood that the term sovereignty under British rule and 
the term Orange Free State under the rule of the republic did 
not comprise the territories of the native tribes by which the 
white inhabitants were surrounded, and 

*' 3rdly. That the temporary refusal of permits to the Free 
State government for the purchase of supplies of ammunition 
arose from special circumstances which in the judgment of the 
governor of this colony rendered it imperative upon him to take 
immediate measures to prevent the misuse of the privilege in 

1872] Reply to the Free State Protest, 393 

" In conclusion, it may be added that raiich of the land in 
dispute was at the date of Sir Henry Barkly's proclamation the 
property of and held by British subjects and subjects of other 
European states, and had never at any previous tim.e been the 
property of subjects of the Orange Free State, and that the attempt 
on the part of the Free State government to assume rule and 
jurisdiction over that tract of country must be held to have been 
a usurpation of the rights of an independent native government 
too weak to resist that usurpation by force of arms. The know- 
ledge of this and of the yet more extensive act of encroachment 
which the governments of the Orange Free State and the South 
African Republic were adopting measures to accomplish, by which 
a large portion of the territories of the Griquas and other natives, 
within which a great and increasing number of British subjects were 
located, was to have been appropriated by those states, compelled 
the government of this colony to interfere to prevent the said 
British subjects from becoming parties to aggressions on native 
tribes with whom this government had ever been on the most 
friendly terms. 

" The right to possession or occupation on the part of the Free 
State has from the first been denied by the chief Waterboer, and 
that chief has throughout the dispute endeavoured to induce the 
Free State to consent to a settlement by means of a fair and 
honourable arbitration. The Free State government has, however, 
persistently declined to submit its asserted rights to the ordeal 
of any practicable arbitration, and the endeavours of the colonial 
government, which has constantly urged upon the Free State the 
propriety of settling the matters in dispute in the manner proposed 
by Waterboer, have hitherto been without effect." 

In this document the real point at issue — the ownership 
of the land between the Vaal and Modder rivers by 
Waterboer's clan at any time — is almost ignored, and no 
attempt to prove such ownership is made, for Mr. Arnot 
knew that it must have failed. His own words at a later 
date concerning the transaction were: "I had not a single 
trump card in my hand, but I won the game." The 
secretary of state for the colonies could not know this, 
however, and with documents such as the above before him, 
he must \^ held blameless for sanctioning a transaction that 
no one now attempts to defend except on the plea that it 

394 History of Griqualand West, [1^72 

was necessary for the predominant power in South Africa 
to assume the government of the diamond fields. 

It is not from public documents that the bitter feeling 
can be ascertained which was caused in the republics by the 
taking possession of the territory as a cession from 
Waterboer and the subsequent adjustment of the boundary 
to make it enclose the diamond mines. There are other 
sources of information from which writers in the distant 
future will be able to draw. The author of these volumes 
was in an excellent position for learning the sentiments of 
both the Dutch and the English speaking residents north of 
the Orange, and is convinced that to this transaction more 
than to any other is due the feeling of suspicion of English 
policy mingled with enmity towards it, which for the next 
thirty years was entertained by many residents on secluded 
farms in the republics.* 

*The leading article in the Diamond Neivs of the 30th of December 
1871 was written by me, but discontent was then rife at the fields, and 
it would have been wrong to use a single word that would inflame 
passion of any kind. The article was a retrospect of the year, and 
was as follows : — 

In a few short hours the year of grace 1871 will be numbered with 
its predecessors among the past, and another year with its hopes and 
expectations will have dawned upon us. The now dying year is one 
that must ever stand prominent in the history of South Africa as one 
in which a great industry was developed and most important political 
changes were effected. At its commencement the dry diggings were 
indeed known to exist, and were being partially worked, but the great 
bulk of the diamond seeking community was then settled along the 
banks of the Vaal river. Pniel was in what was termed disputed 
territory, but Dutoitspan was generally considered to be a long way 
on the Free State side of any line that Waterboer could reasonably 
claim. When in the early part of the year violent possession of 
Bultfontein was taken by a large party of diggers, the colonial press 
justified the course adopted by the Free State government in assembling 
a commando for the dispersion of the raiders and the preservation of 
order. Soon afterwards the farms composing Dutoitspan were formally 
opened for digging purposes by the then recognised government of the 
country, and people from all parts began to flock hither, lured by the 
extraordinary value of the finds made bj^ a few fortunate individuals. 
Simple but effective machinery for maintaining order and administering 
justice was speedily introduced, and in a few weeks arose a great hive 

1872] Events at the Diamond fields, 395 

Even President Brand, the peacemaker, the ardent promoter 
of friendlv feelino^ between Dutch and Eno^lish in South Africa, 
the man whose motto was alles zal regt komen, all will come 
right in time, was stung to the quick by it, and in a letter 
to Mr. Hamelberg, dated 22nd of November 1871, made 

of industry in the very heart of a "wilderness. Then came the most 
important discovery since the first finding of diamonds in South Africa. 
The Colesberg Kopje, or New Rush of De Beer's, with its marvellous 
wealth, was opened, and created an excitement never before witnessed 
in this part of the world. The rapidity with which fortunes were 
made by the proprietors of claims there astonished and dazzled even 
the least enterprising burghers, and from the Cape Colony, Natal, the 
Orange Free State, the Transvaal Republic, and even from distant 
Europe and America fortune seekers came crowding in. In a very 
short time the river diggings were all but deserted. People at a 
distance could not or would not believe that this kopje was very small 
and every inch of it occupied. They read in the papers of immense 
sums being realised in a few days or weeks, — perhaps by some friend 
or acquaintance, — and where others did so well they imagined they 
would stand an equal chance. They came flocking in by thousands, 
most of them to be disappointed in their great expectations, but many 
to acquire wealth. In the meantime a town had arisen, not a town of 
tents only, but one in which large iron and wooden buildings lined the 
sides of the streets, and Dutoitspan, in addition to being the centre of 
diamond digging operations, had become the great depot of commerce 
for the interior. Its rise had been nearly as marvellous and as rapid 
as the erection of the palace by the slave of the lamp, but it rests on 
more solid foundations, and there is little doubt but that it will 
continue to thrive and prosper. 

The next event of importance was the recent change of government 
by the assumption of British authority over the dry diggings, now in- 
cluded in Griqualand West. Considering that the new government 
came into operation unpreparedly and without any force on the spot 
to carry out its decrees, its brief ad-ministration has been a difficult 
and unsatisfactory one. But there can be no doubt that in course of 
time it will acquire strength, and that ere long life and property will be 
as safe here as in any part of her Majesty's dominions. 

The want of sanitary arrangements, or rather the want of power 
on the part of the authorities to carry out sanitary regulations, 
combined with the exposure and privations to which diggers are in the 
nature of things subjected, added to the heat of the weather and the 
prevalence of sand storms, have together caused a good deal of sickness 
since the commencement of summer, but the death rate has not been 
nearly so high as is usually reported in the Cape Colony. It 

39^ History of Griqualand West, [1872 

use of expressions strangely at variance with all his other 
correspondence and his language before and since. He 
deplored the weakness of the Free State, and wished for an 
ample supply of the best rifles and ammunition, with some 
mitrailleuses and other field pieces, which would have to be 
imported through Delagoa Bay. Portugal was too weak 
to oppose Great Britain, he would therefore like to see the 
United States of America, Germany, or even Russia get 
a footing at Delagoa Bay. It was but a temporary outburst 
of resentment that caused him to write in this strain, but that 
such a man as President Brand should even for a single 
hour have been moved so strongly shows how the uneducated 
farmers must have felt. Far the bitterest language that was 
used, however, was by Englishmen of high principle, who 
were wroth on seeing their flag made use of to cover such 
an act. If it had been necessary they would have set up a 
government of the fields without hesitation or scruple 
themselves, and have then handed it over to the empire ; 
but to take the ground under the pretext that it was ceded 
by a man who no one believed had a shadow of a claim to 
it was something they were utterly ashamed of. 

Meantime things were not working at all smoothly at 
the diamond fields. Under the Free State administration 
the difference between civilised and uncivilised men had 
been recognised, and the latter were subjected to certain 
restraints necessary for the well-being of the whole com- 
munity. They were prohibited from roaming about after 
nine o'clock in the evening, tbey were not allowed to buy 
or sell diamonds, they were not permitted to purchase in- 

probably never in any week exceeded fifteen per cent per annum of the 
population, and it has lately very materially diminished. Yet something 
like a panic was in the early part of the present month the order of the 
day, and a large proportion of the diggers deserted the camps with the 
intention of not returning until cool weather shall again set in. 

The new year will open upon us with brilliant prospects, but in these 
days of marvels who can say what it may or may not bring forth. At 
any rate the energy which these diamond fields have infused 
into the formerly sluggish blood of South Africa cannot fail to carry 
on the march of improvement upon which we have entered. 

1871] Discontent at the Diamond Fields. 397 

toxicating liquor without an order in writing from their 
employers. These regulations had been judiciously enforced, 
with the result that order had been fairly well preserved. 
Now all this was changed. The naked barbarian had 
exactly the same rights as the most refined European, and 
had no more restraint upon his actions. He at once yielded 
to the temptation of strong drink, stole diamonds which he 
was now able to sell, and created disturbances throughout 
the night that turned the camp in which he lived into a 
pandemonium. He became insolent, worked as much or as 
little as he chose, and often was unfit for any labour at all. 

Kepresentations to this effect were made by the diggers 
to the executive committee, but to no purpose. The three 
gentlemen composing the committee were powerless to do 
anything except to carry out the instructions of the high 
commissioner in Capetown, and he had to be cautious not 
to do anything that might offend people in England who 
were constantly asserting that the blacks were oppressed in 
the republics and ought to be as free as the Europeans. 

As therefore nothing was done to remedy the evil com- 
plained of, the diggers in exasperation took the law into 
their own hands. On the 17th of December 1871 a large 
number of men assembled and proceeded to burn down four 
low class canteens at the New Rush — now Kimberle}' — and 
three others at Old De Beer's. The proprietors of these 
canteens had been selling brandy in large quantities to 
coloured servants who were becoming utterly depraved, and 
it was morally certain, though it could not be legally proved, 
that they had been purchasing diamonds stolen by the 
blacks. The diggers destroyed everything on the premises, 
but abstained from removing or making use of a single article 

Following this, on the 29th of December a mass meeting 
was held on the market square at Dutoitspan, when a 
number of resolutions were passed condemning the existing 
order of things, and it was unanimously agreed that a 
protest should be drawn up and signed against the ignoring 

398 Hidory of Griqualand West, [1872 

by the government of the committee of management and 
the old regulations, the charge of ten shillings a month by 
the proprietors of the farms for tent stands, the liberty 
granted to blacks to hold diamond claims, the sale of intoxi- 
cating liquor to blacks, the purchase or sale of diamonds 
by blacks, and the placing of barbarians on an equality 
with civilised men. 

Some steps were then taken by the high commissioner to 
improve the condition of things, but they were altogether 
inadequate, and it was evident that nothing of importance 
could be done until the meeting of the Cape parliament^ 
when the future position of the diamond fields would be 
decided. On the 18th of April 1872 parliament assembled 
in Capetown, and a bill for the annexation of Griqualand 
West — as Mr. Arnot had named the territory — to the Cape 
Colony was introduced by the government in the house 
of assembly. 

On the 5th of June Mr. Southey moved the second reading. 

Mr. Solomon moved, and Mr. Molteno seconded, as an 

amendment : 

" That, pending the settlement of the disputes between the govern- 
ment of Great Britain and the government of the Orange Free State on 
the subject of the boundaries of West Griqualand, which now happily 
appears to be near at hand, and in the absence of all information of the 
number and position of its population, — information on which, as well as 
on other points connected therewith, has been asked for by respectful 
address to the governor, — the house feels that it would be inexpedient 
to enter this session upon the consideration of any measure for the 
annexation of that territory to this colony, as it would be impossible for 
the house to decide with any confidence as to what political representa- 
tion ought to be given to its inhabitants in the parliament of the colony, 
and on the other questions which would have to be decided simul- 
taneously with its annexation to the colony." 

Mr. Merriman moved as a further amendment " that the 
bill be read a second time on this day six months." He 
spoke strongly in favour of the Free State view, and 
declared his belief that Waterboer had no right whatever 
to the ground. Mr. Watermeyer seconded this amendment. 
He said he desired to see a united South Africa, and there- 

1S72] Proceedings in the Cape Parliament, 399 

fore would do nothing to rouse the hostility of the Orange 
Free State. He referred to the numerous petitions that had 
been sent in against the bill as evidence that public opinion 
was opposed to it. 

The treasurer-general thought the house by its action in 
1871 was pledged to support the bill. Mr. Glanville 
supported it because he thought the colony would act more 
tenderly than the imperial government towards the Free 
State, and he desired to see the union of the different 
communities. The rule of the diamond fields by the Free 
State he thought would be bad, by the South African 
Kepublic would be worse, and by an independent digger 
republic worst of all. To that it might come if the Cape 
Colony declined to annex the territory. 

Mr. King supported the bill. He believed that if the Free 
State kept the territory that state would be ruled by the 
diamond fields, not the diamond fields by it. He was 
entirely of Mr. Glanville's opinion as to the degrees of bad 
government, and he considered the house pledged by its 
resolution of 1871 to annex the territory and then endeavour 
to make some arrangement with the Free State satisfactory 
to both parties. 

Mr, De Yilliers supported Mr. Solomon's amendment. He 
regretted the resolution of the preceding year, but considered 
the house was not pledged to annex the territory while the 
boundary was in dispute. He referred to a recent survey of 
the line from Ramah via David's Graf to Platberg, which 
showed the diamond fields to be beyond or on the eastern 
side of it, and asked what position the colony would be in 
if after annexation arbitrators were to award the whole of 
the fields to the Free State or say the twentieth part to 
Waterboer. Responsible government was near at hand, and 
the federation of the diflferent communities was much spoken 
of. He thought the Free State would have been willing to 
enter into a federal union if things had remained as they 
were until recently, but certainly would not be if the bill 
before the house were passed. 

400 History of Griqualand West. [1872 

Mr. Manuel would vote for Mr. Merriman's amendment, 
and regretted the resolution of the preceding year. Mr. 
Tennant would do the same. 

Messrs. Sprigg, Reuben AylifF, and Stigant were in favour 
of Mr. Solomon's amendment. 

The debate was continued throughout the sitting on the 
6th of June. Messrs. Knight, Van Rhyn, Wehmeyer, and 
Orpen supported Mr. Merriman's amendment, Messrs. Wright 
and Goold supported that of Mr. Solomon, and only Mr. 
Pearson argued on the same line as Mr. Glanville. Mr. 
Shawe then moved another amendment, which Mr. Rice 
seconded, omitting some words in Mr. Solomon's and making 
it read : 

"That, pending the settlement of the disputes between the govern- 
ment of Great Britain and the government of the Orange Free State 
on the subject of the boundaries of West Griqualand, and in the absence 
of all information of the number and position of its population, — 
information on which, as well as on other points connected therewith, 
has been asked for by respectful address to the governor, — the house 
feels that it would be inexpedient to entej upon the consideration of 
any measure for the annexation of that territory to this colony, as it 
would be impossible for the house to decide, with any confidence, as 
to what political representation ought to be given to its inhabitants 
in the parliament of the colony, and on the other questions which would 
have to be decided simultaneously with its annexation to the colony.'' 

Mr. Solomon thereupon withdrew his amendment in 
favour of Mr. Shawe's, and Messrs. Qain and Adams spoke 
in support of it. 

Messrs. Louw, Prince, and Buchanan announced their 
intention to support Mr. Merriman's amendment, and only 
Messrs. Loxton and Clough spoke in favour of passing 
the bill. 

On the 7th Mr. Smith moved a new amendment: 

"That the house, while adhering to the resolution adopted last 
session on the subject of the annexation of Griqualand West, considers 
that tinder existing circumstances it is not expedient during the 
present session to adopt any measure for the annexation of the territory 
to the colony, and its representation in parliament." 

The debate so far showed that only five members would 
'Vote for the bill and twenty-four would reject it. Mr. 

1872] Progress of Diamond Mining. 401 

Bowker now spoke in favour of Mr. Merriman's amendment, 
and the governor, seeing such an overwhelming majority 
against the measure, instructed the colonial secretary to 
withdraw the bill without putting it to the vote. 

At the diamond fields the failure of the governor's plans 
was regarded with satisfaction, for the majority of the 
English speaking diggers desired a local representative 
government, and objected to being ruled from a place so 
distant as Capetown. Their aspirations in this respect were 
natural, and it was undeniable that laws adapted for an 
agricultural and pastoral people such as those of the Cape 
Colony were not in all cases suitable for a mining com- 
munity. Bat the condition of Griqualand West was such 
that representative government there was almost out of 
the question. Already the enormous quantity of diamonds 
found had caused a great reduction in their value, and with 
the falling in of the roads across the Colesberg kopje, the 
principal mine, the expense of working was considerably 

The excavations there were now from fifty to eighty feet 
or 15*24 to 2438 metres deep, and from the margin of the 
crater to the claims below ropes were stretched, along which 
the ground was drawn up in buckets. Many of the claims 
were subdivided into quarters or even eighths, and some of 
these small sections were worked on shares, the owner 
receiving one half of the gross proceeds. More black 
labourers were required than formerly, and that class of 
the population had increased, while the Europeans were 
diminishing in number. Men who had no ground of their 
own or who were unsuccessful as diggers were in a state of 
poverty, a condition of things which induced lawlessness, if 
not actual crime. 

A robbery of a somewhat sensational character took place 
at this time. In the evening of the 9th of May 1872 a 
respectable looking man named John William Harding went 
to the post office at the Colesberg kopje, and seeing no one 
inside, inserted his arm through the delivery window and 

VOL. IV, i>^ 

402 History of Griqualand West, [1872 

removed a ba^ from the counter in which were letters con- 
taining two thousand three hundred and eighty-one diamonds, 
weighing six pounds avoirdupois or 2722 kilogrammes. 
When the theft was discovered a search was instituted, but 
no trace of the missing bag was found. On the 4th of June 
Harding was arrested in a hotel in Capetown on a charge of 
theft of money from a fellow passenger from England about 
three months before. His luggage was on board the steam- 
ship Syria, in which he had taken his passage to England, 
and when it was examined for removal by the police two 
thousand three hundred and forty-seven diamonds and about 
£1,000 in coin, notes, &c., were discovered. The barrel of a 
rifle was filled with diamonds. On his trial on the 15th of 
July Harding confessed the crime, and gave such information 
as enabled the police to recover the letters, which he had 
concealed but not destroyed, so that restitution of the 
diamonds to their owners was made easy. He was sentenced 
to five years imprisonment with hard labour. 

Shortly afterwards another sensational robbery took place, 
of a great number of diamonds from a postbag that had 
dropped— or perhaps been thrown — from the mail waggon on 
the way to Capetown. In this instance the thief was caught 
by a disguised detective, and the diamonds were recovered. 
These cases naturally caused excitement at the time, but 
were far from producing such irritation as was occasioned 
by the thefts of diamonds by black servants from their 
employers. Owing to these the diggers were in a state of 
actual exasperation. A number of low class whites from the 
worst streets in London had found their way to the fields, 
and had organised a regular system of robbery. After 
October 1871 black men could hold claims in the mines, 
and diamonds found by Kaffir servants could easily be 
transferred to them and afterwards sold openly, or they 
could be sold secretly to some unscrupulous European 
directly or through the agency of a third person. On the 
30th of May 1872 a proclamation had been issued by Sir 
Henry Barkly forbidding the sale or purchase of uncut 

1872] Riots at the Diamond Mines. 403 

diamonds by unauthorised persons under a penalty of three 
times their value, and in default of payment, imprisonment 
with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding 
two years. This proclamation, however, had no effect in 
checking the robberies. 

In July the general discontent culminated in serious riots. 
On the 16th of that month an Indian at Colesberg Kopje 
was detected in the act of purchasing stolen diamonds from 
v^ome black servants, when at once a number of diggers 
assembled, and after handling him very roughly, would have 
hanged him, had not the resident magistrate, Mr. R. W. H. 
Giddy, induced them to desist and allow him to be taken 
to prison. Meantime the crowd had been constantly in- 
creasing, and now set about burning down the tents and 
destroying the stock in trade of low class canteen keepers 
who were suspected of illicit diamond buying. Next day 
the excitement rose higher, and in the evening a great mob 
recommenced the destruction of tents and property of sus- 
pected persons, the police being unable to prevent these 
lawless actSj though they managed to arrest four of the 
leaders, who were committed to prison. 

On the 18th Mr. Giddy, who had succeeded Mr. Bowker 
as commissioner, appealed to the diggers to assist him in 
maintaining order, and a good many enrolled themselves as 
special constables. Two of those arrested on the 17th were 
released from prison on bail of £1,000 each, and in the 
evening a great crowd assembled in front of the magistrate's 
house and demanded the liberation of the other two. Mr. 
Giddy offered to comply if bail was forthcoming, which was 
immediately offered, and so no further rioting occurred. 

On the 19th Messrs. Campbell and Thompson arrived from 

Klipdrift, and a series of conferences took place afterwards 

between the three commissioners and a committee of eleven 

persons representing the digging community. The committee 


"1. That the commissioners suspend from this date all licenses and 
the granting of all renewal of licenses to coloured persons to search for 
diamonds, or to buy^ sell, or otherwise deal in diamonds. 

404 History of Griqttaland IV est. [187:* 

" 2. That the resident magistrate be empowered to inflict summary 
justice on all offenders, and that the jurisdiction in civil cases be 
extended to £500 at the option of the j^laintiff. 

"3. That the commissioners at once organise an efficient detective 
and police force. 

"4. That the seat of government be removed from Klipdrift t« the 
New Rush. 

"5. That all revenue collected in this territory shall be retained for 
the purpose of defraying the expenses of administering the government 
of the territory. 

"6. That the rules hereunto annexed shall, within as short a time 
as possible, be sanctioned and proclaimed law, the same to apply to 
the whole of the districts of Griqualand. 

"1. That no Kaffir or other coloured person be entitled to hold a 
license to search for diamonds. 

*'2. That no Kaffir or other coloured person shall be entitled to hold 
a license to buy, sell, or otherwise deal in diamonds. 

"3. That any person who shall be convicted before a magistrate of 
having purchased a diamond or diamonds from any native shall receive 
publicly hfty lashes, and his property shall be confiscated, the proceeds 
to be applied to forming a fund for rewards to persons who give informa- 
tion which leads to the detection and conviction of an offender, and any 
surplus money accruing shall be at the disposal of the representatives 
of the diggers. 

" 4. That any person who shall be convicted before a magistrate of 
having induced, or endeavoured to induce, any native servant to steal 
diamonds from his master shall receive fifty lashes and be imprisoned for 
a term not less than two years with hard labour. 

"5. That every employer of native labourers shall enter into a written 
contract of service with each servant before an officer to be appointed 
to attest the same, whose duty it shall be to register such contract and 
give to each contracting party a ticket thereof, under the provisions of 
the seamen's registration act. 

" 6. That on the discharge of each servant it shall be the duty of 
his master to endorse on the ticket of service the fact of such discharge 
and the date thereof, under a penalty of £5 sterling. 

"7. That no unemployed native labourer shall be permitted within 
the camp beyond forty-eight hours after discharge, and any native found 
so offending shall be liable to be apprehended, and when brought before 
the magistrate^ should he refuse to engage his services, or should he not 
then procure a master, he shall be treated and punished in a similar 
manner as by the English vagrant act. 

"8. Every employer of native labourers and all constables and other 
officers of the law shall at all times have the right, without warrant 
upder the hand of a magistrate, to search the persons and habitations of 

1872] Concessions of the Commissioners, 405 

such native labourers, and in the event of any diamonds or other 
precious stones being found in their possession for which they cannot 
satisfactorily account, they shall be dealt with according to law, and any 
money or other property they may possess shall become the property 
of the government. 

"9. It shall be the duty of the police to patrol the country sur- 
rounding the camps, with a view of apprehending absconding servants, 
and any servant found without his proper certificate of- discharge shall 
be liable to be apprehended and dealt with according to law. 

"10. All diamonds found in the possession of any native labourer 
shall in the absence of proof to the contrary be deemed to be the 
property of, and handed over to his present master should he be in 
service, and if otherwise to his last employer, who shall pay a sum equal 
to ten per cent of the value thereof to the apprehending officer. 

" 11. That no person shall be permitted to sell wines, spirituous, or 
other intoxicating drinks to any native servant, under a penalty of con- 
fiscation of his property and imprisonment for a term of not less than 
three calendar months. 

" 12. That no canteen keeper shall be allowed to receive any diamond 
or diamonds in payment or part payment, in pledge or pawn, for liquors, 
under a penalty of not less than two years' imprisonment and confiscation 
of his property." 

On the 22nd the commissioners replied to these requests. 
They wrote 

** 1. As to the suggestion that the issuing of licenses to natives or 
other coloured persons to search for or deal in diamonds should be sus- 
pended pending the signification of his Excellency's pleasure thereon, 
the commissioners will direct that licenses to natives or other coloured 
persons to search for or deal in diamonds shall be suspended on 
Wednesday next, and shall thenceforth be issued or renewed only upon 
production to the inspector of claims, or to the distributor of stamps 
respectively, of a certificate of character and fitness, either from the 
diggers' committee or, in a digging where there is no such committee, 
from a board of seven bona fide white claimhoiders to be elected by 
white claimhoiders for that purpose. 

*' 2. In answer to the proposal for increasing the power of magistrates, 
the commissioners will empower magistrates to punish the theft of 
diamonds,^-either by any number of lashes not exceeding fifty, or by 
imprisonment with hard labour for any period not exceeding six months ; 
as also to hear and decide civil causes wherein the value of the matter 
in dispute does not exceed £100, without prejudice to the right of any 
suitor to bring his action in the first instance in the high court or in 
any circuit court, should he elect to do~ so, in any case where the sum 
sued for is beyond the ordinary jurisdiction of the magistrate's court. 

4o6 History of Griqualand West, [1872 

"3. The commissioners have to inform the committee that the 
organisation of a special police for the diamond fields has been already 

"4. The question of removing the seat of government to the New 
Rush is one which must be left entirely to the consideration of his 

*' 5. The appropriation of a part of the revenue collected upon the 
diamond fields to adjusting the amounts advanced and expended out of 
the colonial revenue for the purpose of government here does not appear 
to be a matter of which any just complaint can be made. 

" 6. In reference to the rules submitted to the commissioners, they 
have to reply as follows : 

" Rules 1 and 2 are disposed of by the reply to clause 1 of this 

" 3. Approved, with the following modification, namely, that any person 
who shall be convicted before a resident magistrate of having purchased 
or received in pledge or pawn a diamond or diamonds from any native 
other than a claimholder or licensed dealer shall be liable to a fine 
not exceeding £100 sterling, or to imprisonment with or without hard 
labour for any period not exceeding six months. 

"4. Approved, with the following modification, namely, that any 
person who shall be convicted before a resident magistrate of having 
induced, or endeavoured to induce, any native servant to steal a diamond 
or diamonds from his master shall be punished with any number of 
lashes not exceeding fifty, or with imprisonment with or without hard 
labour for any period not exceeding twelve months. 

"5, 6, 7, 8. The commissioners have already sent for his Excellency's 
approval a complete scheme of registration of servants, pending which the 
civil commissioner has approved a set of rules upon the same subject 
forwarded to him by the committee, and the same will be brought into 

'*9. The definition of the means to be adopted by the police for the 
performance of their duties rests with the officer in command. 

" 10. Approved. 

" 11. Is covered by government notice number three of 1871. 

" 12. Approved, with the following modifications, namely, that no 
canteen keeper shall be allowed to receive any diamond or diamonds on 
pledge or pawn, or in payment or part payment of any liquor, under a 
penalty, upon conviction in a magistrate's court, of a fine not exceeding 
£50, or imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not 
exceeding six months." 

Mr. Thompson objected to the first clause, suspending 
existing licenses to coloured people, but the committee 
insisted upon it as necessary, and on the 23rd Messrs. 
Campbell and Giddy issued a proclamation enforcing it from 

1872] Issue of New Regulations. 407 

the following day. Upon this being published, the diggers 
expressed themselves satisfied, and order was restored. 

When information of what had occurred reached Sir 
Henry Barkly, he at once expressed disapproval of the 
proclamation issued by Messrs. Campbell and Giddy and of 
several of the rules that they had agreed to. On the 10th 
of August he issued three proclamations, which did not 
indeed make any essential changes in the recently intro- 
duced regulations, but in which distinctions founded on 
colour were obliterated. Thus it was made illegal for any 
person to be registered as a claimholder without a certificate 
from a magistrate, or a justice of the peace specially 
authorised for the purpose, that he was of good character 
and a fit and proper person to be so registered. Canteen 
keepers were prohibited from dealing in diamonds. A registry 
of servants was created, with stringent regulations and 
heavy penalties for infringement of the clauses. Masters were 
empowered to search their servants, without procuring 
warrants, and if diamonds were found upon them or in 
their quarters, they were made subject to imprisonment with 
or without hard labour for any period not exceeding twelve 
months, or to fifty lashes, or to both imprisonment and 
lashes. The jurisdiction of magistrates in civil cases was 
increased, so that they could hear and decide suits of the 
value of £500 on promissory notes or other documents, and 
of £250 on oral evidence. 

As soon as he could leave Capetown, Sir Henry Barkly 
proceeded to the diamond fields, and reached Dutoitspan on 
the 7th of September. He - was received with expressions 
of loyalty by most of the diggers, and at a public dinner in 
his honour at the Colesberg kopje was loudly cheered when 
he announced his intention of recommending the imperial 
authorities to erect Griqualand West into a crown colony, 
with a constitution similar to that of Natal. 

As the administration of the government hy a triumvirate, 
two of whom resided at Klipdrift and the other at the 
Colesberg kopjej and who held different opinions on many 

4o8 History of Griqualand West. [1873 

matters, was an entire failure, Mr. Richard Southey was 
appointed sole administrator. Mr. John Campbell was trans- 
ferred to Capetown as resident magistrate, and an executive 
council was created, of which Mr. Southev was to be chairman, 
and Mr. John Blades Currey, who at the same time was 
appointed government secretary, Mr. J. C. Thompson, and 
Mr. R. W. H. Giddy were to be members. On the 9th of 
January 1873 Mr. Southey arrived at the diamond fields, 
took up his residence at the Colesberg kopje, and the new 
form of government was inaugurated. It was regarded as 
merely temporary until her Majesty's ministers should decide 
what was to be done now that the Cape Colony refused to 
incorporate the territory while its eastern boundary was in 
dispute with the Orange Free State. 

The correspondence between the high commissioner and 
the president was continuous, and for a time it seemed as 
if an agreement between them would be concluded that the 
matter in dispute should be left to the decision of local 
arbitrators with a final referee in Europe to be nominated 
by one of the foreign ambassadors in England, but in 
August President Brand was taken very seriously ill and 
was compelled to desist from exertion of any kind. On the 
31st of that month Mr. F. K. Hbhne, the government secretary 
of the Orange Free State, assumed duty as acting president 
until the volksraad should meet. That body on the 4th 
of October appointed a commission consisting of Messrs. 
W. W. Collins, F. P. Schnehage, and G. J. Dutoit to carry 
on the government from the 21st of that month until Mr. 
Brand should recover, and it was not before the 16th of 
June 1873 that the president was able to resume duty. The 
volksraad refused to agree to a stipulation made by the high 
commissioner that the deed of submission to arbitration 
should be "SO drawn up as to exclude all references to the 
convention of the 23rd of February 1854, and so the long 
correspondence ended in nothing. 

A reply to the document drawn up in Mr. Southey's name 
on the 25th of April was approved of and pubhshed, in 

1873] Erection into a Crown Colony, 409 

which the case of the Free State was again given, and an 
oflScial letter from Mr. Southey himself when he was private 
secretary to Governor Sir Harry Smith was quoted in refu- 
tation of the most important statement now put forward, 
really by Mr. Arnot, on the opposing side. It is not 
necessary to give this reply, because all the events referred 
to in it have been recorded in previous chapters. 

As nothing else could be done, the imperial authorities 
followed the counsel of Sir Henry Barkly, and erected 
Griqualand West into a crown colony. The letters patent 
effecting this were promulgated on the I7tli of July 1878. 
The territory was formed into three electoral divisions, 
named Kimberley, Barkly, and Hay. In the division of 
Kimberley were the diamond fields on the farms Bultfontein, 
Dorstfontein, and Vooruitzigt, a circle with a radius of two 
miles or 3'2 kilometres enclosing the mines Bultfontein, 
Dutoitspan, Old De Beer's, and the Colesberg kopje or 
New Rush. The camp at the Colesberg kopje now took 
the name of Kimberley, and was made the seat of govern- 
ment. There were two or three hundred good pastoral 
farms in this division. In the division of Barkly were the 
diggings along the Vaal river and the agricultural and 
pastoral lands along the Plart and the Vaal, occupied chiefly 
by Koranas and Betshuana. The village at Klipdrift 
remained the seat of magistracy, but was renamed Barkly. 
The division of Hay covered the remainder, or southern and 
western portion, of the territory, and was occupied by the 
Griquas with a few Koranas and Betshuana. Griquatown 
became the seat of magistracy of this division. 

The administration was vested in the high commissioner 
as governor of the province, or in his absence in a lieu- 
tenant-governor, appointed by the crown, and assisted by an 
executive council consisting of the secretary to government, 
the attorney - general, and the treasurer, of which the 
lieutenant-governor was president. 

A legislative council was created, to consist of four official 
and four elected members. The official members were those 

410 History of Griqtialand West* [1874 

composing the executive council. The division of Kimberley 
was to return two members to the legislative council, and 
Barkly and Hay were each to return one. The governor, 
or in his absence the lieutenant-governor, was to preside in 
the council, and had a casting vote if other votes were 
equal. The council was to meet once every year, but it 
could be convened, prorogued, or dissolved, at the pleasure 
of the governor. The elected members were to retain their 
seats for three years, unless the council should be dissolved 
during that time, or unless they should accept office under 
government, in which case they were obliged to resign, but 
were eligible for reelection. If a member should resign 
his seat and no successor be elected within three months, 
the governor was empowered to fill the vacancy. 

Every male British subject, over twenty-one years of 
age and unconvicted of crime, was entitled to be registered 
as a voter, upon payment of a fee of two shillings, provided 
that he had occupied for six months a building of the value 
of £25, or had been a registered claimholder, or had been 
in receipt of a salary not less than at the rate of £100 a 
year or £50 with board and lodging. Any registered voter 
who should receive a requisition from twenty-five others 
was eligible as a candidate for a seat in the council. 

The members elected in 1873 were Dr. P. H. J. Graham 
and Mr. Henry Green for Kimberley, Advocate Davison for 
Barkly, and Mr. David Arnot for Hay. In January 1874 
the legislative council met for the first time. Mr. Southey, 
who now bore the title of lieutenant-governor, presided. 
Ordinances were passed, increasing the license to purchase 
diamonds to £50 a year, prohibiting trade in diamonds any- 
where except in licensed offices, compelling dealers to keep 
registers in which all purchases should be minutely recorded, 
under penalty of a fine of £50 or three months imprisonment, 
and prohibiting any one from having more than ten claims 
registered in his name. It was now hoped that illicit dealing 
would be checked, and a fev/ wealthy men or companies be 
prevented from getting possession of tlie mines. 



The new government gave no more satisfaction than the 
one it superseded. Mi\ Southey had long and varied ex- 
perience in office work, and was unquestionably an able 
man, but it cannot be said that he possessed the tact 
necessary for the office he filled at the diamond fields. He 
was an ultra conservative, whose ideas of government were 
not those of the mass of the diggers, consequently he never 
became popular. Then the policy of the administration was 
directed by the high commissioner, and he had merely to 
carry out instructions, so that he cannot justly be blamed 
for mugh that went wrong. 

Various departments were created after the model ci 
older colonies, which made the administration expensive, and 
its maintenance pressed heavily upon the diggers. They 
complained that the elective element in the council was so 
small that they were practically unrepresented. The farms 
on which the mines were situated had been purchased by 
speculators from their original owners, and disputes with 
the new proprietors kept the - camps in a constant state of 
excitement. The council attempted to limit the proprietors' 
power of charging whatever rents they chose, but the 
ordinance was disallowed bv the imperial authorities as 

t/' J. 

being an infringement of rights. At length this difficulty 
was solved, as far as the principal mine was concerned, by 
the government purchasing the farm Vooruitzigt for £100,000, 
and selling the building stands which before had been held 
on lease. 


412 History of Griqualand West. [1872 

As the crater deepened at Kimberley, the cost of digging 
increased. Powerful pumping machinery was required to 
keep the claims free of water, and frequently a landslip 
would take place, or a great fall of reef, which could only 
be removed at a cost of thousands of pounds. And all this 
time diamonds were declining in value. From two to three 
million pounds worth a year were still sent out of the 
province, but the quantity required to represent that sum 
was increasing year by year at an alarming rate. Heavy 
taxation, under these circumstances, was loudly complained 
of. But the diggers complained even more of the absence 
of adequate protection for property, of the want of sympathy 
on the part of the principal oflScers of government, and of 
the manner in which public affairs were conducted. It 
seemed to them as if the interests of the country were 
uncared for, while every petty document was docketed and 
carefully tied with red tape. 

Another diflScuUy, distinct from the ownership of the 
ground, had arisen with the Orange Free State. The Bantu 
tribes far and near were arming with guns obtained at the 
diamond fields, and the European residents in both the 
republics were consequently in a state of alarm and were 
doing all they could to suppress the forbidden traffic within 
their own borders. On two occasions the Free State officials 
had seized waggons conveying firearms through the district 
of Jacobsdal without license, and had confiscated the 
contraband articles. On the 12th of December 1872 they 
made another seizure, of three waggons laden with guns 
and ammunition, the property of British subjects, on the 
way to the diamond fields. The seizure took place on the 
farm Magersfontein, a name written large in history now, 
but then hardly known beyond the immediate neighbourhood. 
The farm was owned by Mr. M. Combrink, and was held 
under a title granted by Major Warden when the country 
was a British possession. It was believed in the Free State 
to be on the eastern side of the boundary of Griqualand 
West as proclaimed by Sir Henry Barkly, but Mr. F. H. S. 

873] Demand of the High Cofumissioner, 


Orpen, the surveyor-general of the province, bad recently 
sketched a line which placed it considerably west of the 

A good deal of correspondence followed between the 
executive committee of the Orange Free State and the high 
commissioner, in which the former affirmed that they had 
consistently respected the boundary as proclaimed, though 
they continued to protest against the cession by Waterboer, 
and that they had only received a copy of Mr. Orpen's 
sketch on the 8th of January 1873 and disputed its 
accuracy. The high commissioner stated that he would 
maintain the line sketched by Mr. Orpen, and that as 
Magersfontein was therefore in Griqualand West, the Free 
State in seizing the three waggons had attacked Great 
Britain and insulted the British flag. 

On the 27th of January 1873 Mr. Currey, the govern- 
ment secretary of Griqualand West, arrived in Bloemfontein, 
and handed to the executive committee a demand from the 
high commissioner, dated on the 11th of the month, that 
the three waggons should be restored and £600 be paid as 
damages to their owners within one hundred hours from the 
time of receiving the missive, and further that a full 
apology be made for what had occurred. Upon receipt of 
this demand the committee called the executive council 
together, and the question what was to be done was 
earnestly debated. All the members realised that a refusal 
to comply with the high commissioner's demand would be 
followed by war and the loss of independence, but some of 
them preferred even this ta what they regarded as the 
humiliation of doing what was required. Messrs. Collins, 
Schnehage, and Prinsloo voted for refusal. But others were 
in favour of a more moderate course, and thought the best 
thinof that could be done would be to surrender the 
waggons and pay the £600 under protest, while declining to 
make an apology. For this line of action Messrs. Hohne, 
Truter, Dutoit, Steyn, and Venter voted. On the 30tb of 
January, therefore, Mr. Currey was informed that the 

4^4 History of Griqualand West, [1873 

money and the waggons with their lading intact were given 
up under protest, and a proposal was made to Sir Henry 
Barkly that a commission should be appointed to settle the 
boundary line and place beacons along it, in order to avoid 
future complications. 

The volksraad was called together in extraordinary 
session on the 13th of February, and though the debate 
took place with closed doors, it was known that feeling ran 
very high. The action of the executive committee and 
council was, however, approved of, and the session closed 
on the 21st. 

Sir Henry Barkly accepted the proposal of a commission 
to lay down a boundary, and nominated Judge Barry, of 
Griqualand West, as the member on the British side. He 
then asked the Free State government to draw up the 
requisite deed of submission, and transferred all further 
correspondence on the subject to Lieutenant - Governor 
Southey. The Free State nominated Attorney-General 
Buchanan, of the South African Republic, as its repre- 
sentative, and all parties agreed to accept Sir Sidney Smith 
Bell, chief justice of the Cape Colony, as final umpire. On 
the 8th of May 1873 tbe volksraad in its ordinary session 
requested Messrs. Klynveld, Vels, and F. K. Hohne to draw 
up a deed of submission, and appointed Advocate Vels to act 
as its solicitor in the matter. 

But after all no settlement was arrived at. On the 26th 
of May the government secretary of the Orange Free State 
forwarded to Kimberley a deed of submission, in which the 
gentlemen named were empowered to fix the position of 
Ramah, David's Graf, and Platberg, and to lay down 
straight lines between those points ; but to this Mr. Southey 
replied on the 6th of June objecting, as he desired that the 
three places or terminal points of lines should be lai(f down 
within very narrow limits in the deed of submission itself, 
in other words that the possibility not only of Magers- 
fontein but of the diamond fields being declared outside of 
Griqualand West might be guarded against. To such a deed 

1873] Skirmish with some Basuto, 415 

of submission, which the Free State maintained would really 
give its case away, it refused to consent, and so nothing 
could be done in the matter. 

The above, though the most pressing difficulty, was not the 
only one at this time. The Free State tried to prevent 
Bantu from openly carrying arms on its soil, and went to the 
expense of enrolling a small force of police for the purpose. 
Some individual blacks were arrested, and their weapons 
were confiscated. Then a number of Molapo's Basuto 
resolved to march together, and to cross the state as rapidly 
as possible, in expectation of being able to reach their own 
country before a sufficient force could be got together to 
oppose them. But Inspector Van Ryneveld of the Free 
State police heard of their having crossed the border, and 
with his own men and twenty-five farmers who assembled 
hastily he rode to Mooimeisjesfontein and took post there 
on the 17th of January 1873 as the Basuto band was 
approaching. Seventy fine stalwart barbarians, all but one 
with a gun on his shoulder, marched along until suddenly 
confronted by the Europeans who ordered them to halt. They 
w^ere then called upon to surrender their weapons, and 
vv^ere informed that they must go to Boshof to answer to 
the charge of setting the law at defiance. Without hesita- 
tion, they refused to give up their guns, and produced their 
passes from the diamond fields which showed that they had 
purchased the weapons honestly. Inspector Van Ryneveld 
informed them that the documents were of no value in the 
Free State, but they still persisted in refusing to surrender 
their guns. 

Whether the Free State force or the Basuto fired the first 
shot is uncertain, for each asserted afterwards that the other 
did ; but this is not of much importance. The white men 
were there to enforce the law, and were determined to do it. 
The black men were there to break the law, and were 
equally resolved to do it. Each believed itself to have right 
on its side. The ground admitted of both parties taking 
shelter, consequently the firing had so little effect that the only 

4i6 History of Gri qua land West. [1874 

casualties were two Basuto killed and two wounded. Night 
came on, and in the darkness the blacks made their way 
back to Dutoitspan, where they reported what had occurred. 
They were^ Biitish subjects, and the high commissioner, as 
he was unquestionably justified in doing, demanded a thorough 
investigation into the whole matter. To this the Free State 
made no objection, but the tone of Sir Henry Barkly's 
correspondence was such that the existing irritation "was 
greatly increased by it. 

At the diamond fields the discontent of the European 
residents who were not in thriving circumstances was 
constantly increasing, and the Free State government might 
have been pleased at being relieved of the difficulty of 
maintaining order there if it had been treated with more 
consideration. A sensible, j)iactical people, whose first wish 
was to avoid turmoil and strife, the farmers in the republic 
fully realised the advantage to them of the excellent market 
aflforded by the diamond mines, and it would not have been 
diflBcult to induce them to come to some friendly arrange- 
ment under which everything that British interests demanded 
might have been secured, and the way prepared for the 
eventual unification of South Africa, if a far-seeing, bene- 
volent, and courteous statesman such as Sir George Grey 
had been her Majesty's representative here at the time. Sir 
Henry Barkly's dislike of "the boers," his highhanded, 
almost contemptuous manner of dealing with the republican 
governments, proved an eflfectual barrier against anything like 
harmony or confidence. 

At Kimberley and Dutoitspan complaints, some frivolous, 
others well founded, were brought against the administration 
during 10 1873 and 1874, chief among them being the 
prevalence of illicit diamond buying, owing to the laws 
making no distinction of colour or race. At length a 
number of men banded together in what they termed a 
mutual protection association, went about armed, and drilled 
openly under the direction of military leaders, some of whom 
were known to be disaffected towards English rule and 

1875] Seditious Proceedings, 417 

boasted of being Fenians. What the ultimate object of this 
association may have been is uncertain. Open rebellion 
would have been an act of such extreme folly that few of 
the members C8.n have intended to go so far, and probably 
their object was merely to gain notoriety. But when 
hundreds of excited men meet too-ether with arms in their 
hands, and no force is present to restrain them, insurrection 
is easily drifted into. The police of Kimberley were directed 
to seize a quantity of ammunition and rifles known to be 
on the premises of one of the disaffected men, but to do it 
as quietly as possible. They did as they were directed, and 
not only seized the material of war but arrested the owner 
of the premises and conveyed him to prison. Immediately'- 
the alarm was sounded, when his associates hastily assembled, 
marched in a body to the magistrate's office, and demanded 
the release of the prisoner. Mr. Giddy was a man of tact, 
and managed to prevent a riot without acceding to the 
demand, but passion continued to run high, and the 
lieutenant-governor, believing his authority to be in danger, 
represented to the high commissioner that he was unable to 
preserve order. 

Sir Henry Barkly then considered it necessary to send a 
body of imperial troops to the diamond fields. General Sir 
Arthur Cunynghame, who was then commander in chief of 
the forces in South Africa, directed it in person. It 
consisted, exclusive of officers, of two hundred and ninety 
men of the 24th regiment, forty of whom were mounted to 
serve as cavalry, and twenty-five artillerymen with two 
Armstrong guns. It was accompanied by a long train of 
mule^ waggons, and marched from the terminus of the 
railway at Wellington through Beaufort West and Hopetown 
to Kimberley, where it arrived on the 30th of June 1875. 
The orderly portion of the community welcomed the troops 
after their long march, and no open exhibition of disloyalty 
was made when on the following morning the leatfers of the 
mutual protection association were arrested and committed 
to prison. They were put upon their trial for sedition, but 

VOL. IV, E3 

4i8 History of Gi iqualand West. [1872 

the jury refused to convict ther/i, so they were set free. 
They thought it well, however, to leave the province, and 
with their departure quietness was restored. 

A very important matter for the consideration of the 
government was the settlement of disputes regarding the 
ownership of land in different parts of the province away 
from the mining areas. There were claims resting on grants 
from petty Betshuana and Korana captains, from Cornells 
Kok, and from Nicholas Waterboer after Mr. Arnot became 
his advocate, and often these overlapped. Then there were 
the grants of farms made by the Sovereignty government, 
thirty-three in number, which could not be disputed, 
and some of those made by the Free State government, 
which could be disputed if Waterboer's claim was good. 

In March 1872 a commission, consisting of Mr. Francis 
H. S. Orpen, civil commissioner of Hay and surveyor- 
general of the province, Mr. P. L. Buyskes, sheriff, and Mr. 
Thomas Hoi den Bowker, a gentleman who had assisted in 
locating the grantees in the division of Queenstown, was 
appointed to receive, examine, inquire into, and register claims 
to land in the province, and also to ascertain and report for 
the governor's information what land should, in their 
opinion, be set apart for the use and occupation of the 
coloured inhabitants and for public purposes, such as sites for 
villages, &c. The first meeting of this commission was 
held on the 6 th of May, and it was the only one Mr. Orpen 
ever attended, as his other occupations left him no time 
for this duty. 

As soon as Messrs. Buyskes and Bowker entered upon 
the task they found themselves confronted with a difficulty 
that they did not know how to overcome. It became 
evident to them that Waterboer's claim was altogether 
fictitious as far as the greater part of the province was 
concerned, and they could not therefore recognise and 
register grants of land made in his name. Mr. Arnot's 
claims were the first that came before them. That gentle- 
man submitted gsants from Waterboer to himself of the 

1875] Appointment of a Land Court, 419 

farm Eskdale, in Albania, on which he resided, fourteen 
thousand morgan or twenty-nine thousand English acres in 
extent, a block of thirty-seven farms, each containing three 
thousand morgen or six thousand three hundred and fifty 
acres, on the eastern side of the Vaal, a similar block on the 
western side of that river, and a lot twelve acres in extent 
at the proposed village of Douglas, all in freehold, and five 
agricultural allotments at Douglas, each five acres in extent, 
at a yearly quitrent of £1 for each, altogether very nearly 
half a million acres of ground. These they declined to admit 
and register, unless by positive order from the governor 
to do so, which was not given. Then, after investigation, 
they felt themselves under the neccessity of admitting claims 
founded on grants by Cornelis Kok, which was equivalent 
to an admission that the Free State case was well founded. 
The commission did not complete its work, as Mr. Bowker 
made use of some offensive expressions concerning what he 
termed a "big land swindle," when he was displaced, and 
the attempt to settle the exceedingly complicated question 
came to an end for the time. 

But as everything away from the mines was at a stand- 
still, and must remain so until this matter was arrano-ed, 
the governor issued instructions that an ordinance should be 
passed, under the provisions of which a land court could be 
establislied. This was not desired on the spot, and difficulty 
after difficulty was placed in the way until Sir Henry 
Barkly proceeded to Kimberley and presided in person in 
the legislative council, when a land settlement ordinance was 
passed. The governor was determined that a thorough 
investigation should now be made, which is sufficient proof 
that down to 1875 he had been deceived by the specious 
statements made on behalf of Waterboer. When the 
ordinance was passed he appointed Advocate Stockenstrom, 
a man of the highest character, judge of the land court, 
to investigate and determine all claims. 

It would not be possible to go more deeply into Griqua 
history than the land court did as day after day and week 

420 History of Grigualand West. [1876 

after week documentary and printed testimony was produced 
and the evidence of all the old people that could be found 
was patiently listened to and compared. There were men 
and women still living who as boys and girls had crossed 
the Orange with the first Griqua emigrants from the Cape 
Colony, and there were men of other tribes who could 
corroborate or dispute their testimony. All that could be 
done by Waterboer's advocates was done, but it failed, 
for the evidence was overwhelming and indisputable that 
neither he nor his people ever had any right or property 
whatever in the territory north of the Modder and east of the 
Vaal, in which the diamond fields were situated. The captain 
was found to be half imbecile, to be ignorant of much that 
had transpired, and, as he himself stated, to have seen only 
with Mr. Arnot's eyes and to have heard only with Mr. 
Arnot's ears. The judge was obliged to decide in accordance 
with justice, and the grants made in Waterboer's name in 
that part of the territory north of the Modder river were 
thrown out. 

In August 1875 Lieutenant-Governor Southey and the 
secretary, Mr. John Blades Currey, retired from office, and 
after a short interval during which the recorder, Mr. Jacob 
Dirk Barry, acted as local head of the government, Major 
William Owen Lanyon was appointed administrator. At the 
same time Colonel Crossman was sent as a special commis- 
sioner to examine into and report upon all matters connected 
with the revenue, expenditure, and liability of the province, 
with the result that considerable retrenchment in the cost 
of administration was effected. 

Owing to the boundary of Griqualand West being extended 
by a survey conducted by Mr. Ford, which placed David's 
Graf nearly as far eastward as the village of Jacobsdal, and 
moved the terminal point Platberg much higher up the Vaal, 
thus taking more farms from the Free State, on the 11th of 
February 1876 the volksraad in extraordinary session 
empowered President Brand to proceed to London and confer 
with the authorities there on the subject. On the 13th of 

1876] Arrangement with the Free State. 421 

March the president left Bloemfontein, and on his way 
through the Cape Colony read in the Griqualand West 
newspapers the judgment of the land court just delivered, 
which showed Waterboer's claim to be baseless. This 
decision, the president recognised, as coming from a British 
court and being based upon overwhelming evidence, must 
greatly strengthen his case. On his arrival in England 
he was courteously received by Earl Carnarvon, who was 
then secretary of state for the colonies. But restoration 
of the territory was regarded as impossible, as vested 
interests had grown up, the European inhabitants had 
become almost exclusively British, and it seemed necessary 
that the predominant power in South Africa should be in 
possession of the diamond fields. As that could not be 
done, after several interviews and a good deal of correspon- 
dence, a proposal was made by Sir Donald Currie, whose 
assistance in the negotiations had been requested, which 
was agreed to by Earl Carnarvon and President Brand : 
to restore a few farms that could be cut out of the 
border without affecting the diamond fields, and to pay to 
the republic £90,000 as a solatium, with £15,000 more 
in case of a railway being constructed within five years. 

On the 13th of July 1876 an agreement to this effect was 
concluded, subject to its ratification by the volksraad. The 
president returned to South Africa, and called the volksraad 
together in extraordinary session on the 7th of December, 
when he laid the whole circumstances before the members 
and expressed himself strongly in favour of the arrangement 
as restoring harmony and friendship with the British govern- 
ment and people. But the discussion which followed shows 
that it was only owing to his personal influence that the 
agreement was ratified on the 11th of December, and many 
of the members declared that a sense of what they believed 
to be the injustice done remained as strong in their minds 
as ever. 

No one at this time, except Mr. Arnot, seems to have 
realised the importance to the British possessions of securing 

422 History of Griqualand West, [1877 

this territory as a way to the interior of the continent Its 
value was believed to consist in its diamond mines, and 
neither Earl Carnarvon nor any other British minister of the 
day desired to possess a hectare of territory beyond it. The 
Keate award had thrown a great part of the country to the 
north into the utmost confusion, and it would have been an 
act of mercy to the Bantu there to have extended British 
authority over it, but the imperial government had no desire 
to do anything of the kind. " Wait a bit," said Mr. Arnot, 
" they will have to do it." It is but fair to him to say that 
he was at this time the most advanced imperialist in South 
Africa, really caring less for his own interests — despite 
appearances — than for the extension of British rule. He 
regarded the republics with intense hatred, and thought any 
means justifiable that would humiliate and eventually destroy 
them. His unscrupulousness was not inferior to that of 
Frederick the Great of Prussia, and he rather prided himself 
upon it than denied it. To him, favoured by exceptional 
circumstances such as seldom occur, is due the acquisition of 
Griqualand West and the manner in which it was brought 

The dispute with the Free State being now settled, the 
parliament of the Cape Colony felt itself at liberty to take 
steps for the annexation of the province, and in the session 
which opened on the 25th of May and closed on the 8th of 
August 1877 Mr. Molteno, the prime minister, brought in a 
bill for the purpose. He had gone to England at the desire 
of the parliament to try to assist Earl Carnarvon in arranging 
matters with the Free State, and had there agreed to relieve 
the imperial authorities of responsibility for the province by 
incorporating it in the Cape Colony. By the bill the province 
as a whole was to return one member to the legislative 
council, and for the purpose of representation in the house 
of assembly was to be formed into two electoral divisions, 
Kimberley and Barkly, each division to return two members. 
The high court of Griqualand, presided over by a judge 
termed the recorder, was to be retained, and to stand in the 

1877] Passing of an Annexation Act. j.23 

same relation to the supreme court of the Cape Colony as 
the court of the eastern districts. The supreme court was 
made to consist of a chief justice and five puisne judges, 
instead of four as previously, the additional judge being the 
recorder of Griqualand. The registry of deeds was also to 
be retained. 

On the 6th of June the second reading of the bill was 
moved by Mr. Molteno in the house of assembly. He stated 
that it was in accordance with an arrangement made by him 
with the secretary of state for the colonies, but did not give 
any particulars as to the condition of the province. 

Mr. Richard Sou they, who then represented Grahamstown 
in the assembly, objected on the ground that the people of 
the province had not been consulted and that no information 
on its finances had been supplied. He was very feebly 
supported, however, and after a short discussion the bill 
was passed without a division. 

On the 4th of July the house went into committee, when 
Mr. J. Paterson, supported by Mr. Sou they, endeavoured 
to secure three members for the province in the legislative 
council, and Mr. C. A. Fairbridge, supported by Mr. T. 
Barry, endeavoured to secure two. Mr. J. G. Sprigg was 
also in favour of a larger number of representatives than 
the bill provided, but the clause as it stood was confirmed 
by twenty-nine votes to twenty-five. There was hardly any 
other objection made, and as some two thousand residents 
in the province petitioned for annexation and no petitions 
were received against it, the bill easily went through both 
houses, the third reading in the legislative council taking 
place on the 27th of July. In April of the following year 
it received the royal assent, but, owing to a change of 
ministry in the Cape Colony, it was not proclaimed in force 
until three years later. 

The diamond fields had by this time lost a very large 
proportion of their former population. Individual diggers 
could no longer work claims successfully, and companies 
were rapidly taking their place. This movement was 

424 History of Griqualand West. [1878 

accelerated by an ordinance passed by the local council in 
November 1876, rescinding the one which prevented any 
individual or company from holding more than ten claims. 
All the rough work was now performed by black labourers, 
and it was estimated that in the whole province there were 
not more than from six to seven thousand white people, 
with perhaps four times that number of blacks. The 
penalties against illicit diamond buying were greatly in- 
creased by an ordinance passed in 1877, but the crime 
was as rife as ever, though from the changed conditions in 
mining riots no longer took place. 

By another act passed in the session of 1877 the debt of 
the province, which then amounted to £175,000, was taken 
over by the Cape government. The items were £90,000 
to the Orange Free State for the settlement of all disputes 
as to boundaries, £20,000 to the imperial government to 
repay the cost of the transport of the troops in 1875, and 
£65,000 for money borrowed. 

Small as the number of Europeans had become, the 
majority of them objected to the loss of autonomy, and 
desired to retain a local government under a federal system. 
The scheme seems absurd now, the disproportion between 
the Cape Colony and Griqualand West being enormous ; but 
Earl Carnarvon, who was desirous of bringing about the 
federation of all the colonies and states in South Africa, 
favoured it as a commencement and as opening a door for 
more important communities to enter. Therefore, though he 
was anxious to get rid of responsibility for Griqualand West, 
he did not press the Cape government to enforce the annexa- 
tion act passed by the parliament until the question of 
confederation should be settled. 

In 1878 the province was disturbed by a rebellion of the 
Griquas, Koranas, and Betshuana who occupied the western 
and northern portions of it. The Griquas had consented to 
Mr. Arnot's proposals in earlier j^ears with a shadowy idea 
of some benelit that would accrue to them, they could not 
tell in what way or form, if they would become British 

1878] Insitrredion of Griquas and others, 425 

subjects. They had waited seven years, and now found 
themselves paupers. Under the government of Waterboer 
they could not sell the land on which they lived : as soon as 
they became British subjects the restriction was removed, 
and speculators went in who obtained their ground for the 
merest trifle. They had foolishly thought they could acquire 
other land by simply moving to some unoccupied spot and 
asking the government for it, and now they found that 
privilege had ceased. Thoughtless and improvident, they had 
succumbed to the temptations placed in their way by 
traders, had got into debt, and been deprived of their move- 
able property by judgments in the magistrate's court. The 
protection afforded in former times by the very insecurity 
in which they lived, which prevented traders from giving 
them credit, was gone, the reign of law had set in, and 
the Griquas became impoverished under it. The captain 
Nicholas Waterboer was allowed an annuity of £1,000 
for life, but he had become addicted to the use of strong 
drink, and with so much money at his disposal was often 
in a miserable condition. 

The Batlapin and Batlaro had been sullen and discontented 
ever since the issue of the proclamation that made them 
British subjects under the pretence that they were living 
in Waterboer's country. Many of them, among others a 
large section of the clan under the Christian chief Jantje, 
son of Mothibi, whose kraal was at Likhatlong, had moved 
out of the province, declaring they would rather leave their 
homes than abide by any arrangement regarding them made 
by a petty Griqua captain with whom they had no con- 
nection. Jantje took up his residence at a place named 
Manyiding, not far from Kuruman mission station, where 
those of his people who accompanied him built a new kraal. 
The open country between the Vaal river and the northern 
boundary of Griqualand West was now treated as crown 
land, and the Betshuana and Koranas could no longer move 
about in it and settle down wherever and whenever they 
chose. At the same time, it is true that the government had 

426 Hisfo'y of Griqjialand West, [1878 

acted liberally hy all these people, and had set apart no 
less than a million acres of ground as locations for their 
exclusive use. 

Apart from any special causes for discontent, there was 
at this time a feeling of unrest among many of the coloured 
tribes in South Africa. The Xosas were at war with the 
Cape Colony, and their emissaries were busy trying to 
induce other tribes to join in a general rising against the 
Europeans. One of them, a man educated at a mission 
school too, was particularly active in Griqualand West. 
The accounts of Xosa successes that were put in circulation 
were perfectly ridiculous, still they were believed by the 
ignorant blacks who sympathised with the opponents of 
the white man. On the northern border of the Cape Colony 
the Koranas were again causing trouble, and these people 
were in close contact with the inhabitants of the lower part 
of the province. 

Then nearly every black man in the country had now a gun 
in his possession. When nothing else would induce the 
Bantu to work at the diamond fields, the prospect of getting 
guns did, and they were acquired there in great numbers. 
In the hands of an untrained barbarian a gun is perhaps 
no more destructive a weapon than an assagai or a battle- 
axe, but it certainly makes him more inclined to war. And 
the coloured inhabitants of Griqualand West had for many 
years been accustomed to their use, some of them had been 
expert hunters, and one with another they were as well 
trained as the recent European colonists. 

In January a band of volunteers one hundred and twenty 
strong, called the Diamond Fields Horse, left Kimberley 
under command of Colonel Charles Warren, to assist the 
Cape Colony in the war with the Xosas, and performed 
excellent service after their arrival at the Kei. Just after 
they left, the Batlapin chief Botlasitsi, son of Gasibone, 
whose kraal was at Pokwane, just beyond the border, was 
called upon to pay five hundred head of cattle for causing 
a disturbance. Some Europeans had obtained farms in his 

1878] Insurrection of Griquas and others. 427 

neighbourhood, within the border, and he had taken their 
cattle and threatened them with forcible expulsion if they 
would not withdraw of their own accord. He would not 
admit that Waterboer had any right to give away land 
along the Hart river. He refused to pay the cattle 
demanded, so Major Lanyon raised a force of two hundred 
white men and a number of blacks, and on the 21st of 
January 1878 left Kimberley to punish him. On the 24th 
the expedition arrived at Pokwane, and found the Batlapin 
apparently prepared to resist. Major Lanyon made ready 
to attack, but just as he was about to close in Botlasitsi's 
men abandoned the place and fled, leaving their cattle behind 
them. The expedition then took possession of six hundred 
and fifty head, and returned to Kimberley. 

On the 21st of April Mr. H« B. Roper, magistrate of Hay, 
reported that disturbances had occurred at Prieska, south of 
the Orange river, and that the Koranas and Betshuana in 
his neighbourhood had risen in arms. Major Lanyon im- 
mediately called for volunteers, and on the 24th left 
Kimberley for Koegas at the head of seventy men, increased 
to two hundred and twenty on the march. Upon his arrival 
at Koegas he opened communications with Donker Malgas, 
who was the principal leader of the insurgents, and 
demanded that they should lay down their arms at once. 
This was refused, and Major Lanyon therefore prepared to 
attack them in the Langebergen. He bad hardly set out 
from Koegas for this purpose, however, when he fell into 
an ambush, and several volleys were poured into his force 
by the insurgents, by which one man was killed and several 
were wounded. He then fell back to Koegas, where he 
formed a camp, and sent to Kimberley for reinforcements 
and guns. 

This temporary repulse encouraged the Griquas to rise. 
They laid siege to Griquatown, where the few white people 
living in the district had taken refuge, who were deter- 
mined to hold the place to the last extremity. They 
managed to convey intelligence of their danger to Major 

428 History of Griqualand West. [1878 

Lanyon, and two hundred men were at once sent from 
Koegas to their relief, on whose approach the rebels retired, 
but on the 21st of Ma}^ they were encountered at Jackals- 
fontein, near Griqiiatown, when twenty-five or thirty of 
them were killed and the others dispersed. 

On the 31st of May at Daniel's Kuil, in another part of 
the province, an Englishman named John Burness, who held 
a commission as justice of the peace, his wife, and his 
brother James Burness were attacked and murdered by a 
party of insurgents. 

The force under Major Lanyon at Koegas was constantly 
being increased by the arrival of volunteers, and some field 
guns had been obtained, so on the 5th of June Donker 
Malgas's stronghold in the Langeberg was attacked, and 
after severe fighting was taken. Fifty- two rebels were killed, 
but the others managed to escape. On this occasion some 
two thousand sheep and goats and a few horned cattle were 
captured. Six days later the insurgents were again attacked 
at a place close by which they had fortified roughly, and 
were again driven away with heavy loss. Major Lanyon, 
believing that the rebels would not make another stand, 
now returned to Kimberley, leaving, as he thought, the pur- 
suit and capture of the fugitives to Colonel Warren and 
Captain Loftus Rolleston, who had returned to the province 
with the diamond fields horse. 

On the 9th of June Colonel Warren attacked a party of 
rebels at Withuis Kloof in the Campbell mountains, killed 
thirty-one of them, and captured a good many cattle. On 
the 15th, 18th, and 22nd of June there were engagements 
with the insurgents in different parts of the province, in 
each of which they were defeated and suffered heavy loss. 
In the last of these Captain George Back with thirty men 
of the border police surprised a band making a raid from 
the islands in the Orange river, killed twenty-five of them, 
and made thirt3^-eight prisoners. 

About seven hundred volunteers, police, and others were 
now in the field, so ultimate success w^as felt to be certain, 

1878] Insurrection of Griguas and others. 429 

and it was considered expedient to send an expedition for 
the relief of Kuruman mission station, which was threatened 
with destruction by the Batlapin and Batlaro. 

When the Burness family were murdered at Daniel's Kuil, 
the white people at Kuruman realised that they also were 
in danger. The brothers Burness were known to have 
always treated the blacks with exceptional kindness, and to 
have had so much confidence in the Batlapin living near 
them that they remained at their dwelling when all the 
other Europeans in the district retired to Barkly or 
Kimberley for safety. As they had been murdered by the 
people they trusted, the residents at Kuruman might expect 
the same fate. Some of the converts informed the mission- 
aries that the chiefs had resolved to kill all the Europeans 
they could lay hold of, so the traders and other white 
people at the place took refuge in the Moffat institution 
building, and sent a message to Kimberley informing the 
administrator of the position they were in. That their fears 
were not groundless was proved by the fact that the Batlaro 
under the chief Morwe, aided by the Batlapin under 
Botlasitsi and Luka, son of Jantje, plundered the station, 
though they did not attack the building in which the white 
men were prepared to defend themselves. 

The advance party of the relief expedition, under 
Commandant Ford, crossed the border on the 6th of July, 
and about ten miles or sixteen kilometres beyond found a 
strong body of Batlapin warriors occupying a hill. These 
they dispersed, but at a loss to themselves of five men 
killed and the same number wounded. On the following 
day a body of Luka's and Morwe's men was dispersed, when 
twenty of them were killed. On the 9th Commandant Ford 
reached Kuruman, and a few days later was followed by 
Colonel Warren and Major Lanyon, each with a band of 
volunteers. The clans that had been threatening Kuruman 
withdrew to Gomaperi, twenty-five miles or forty kilometres 
distant, where they were attacked on the 16th of July and 
defeated with a loss of nearly fifty men. 

430 History of Griqualand West. [1878 

The official returns to this date show that on the 
European side since the commencement of hostilities twenty- 
three men were killed and thirty wounded, not a large 
number compared with the loss of the opposing party. 

It was now resolved to attack the hostile clans who were 
occupying Litakong or Lithako, the Lattakoo of Campbell 
and other travellers in the early years of the century, a 
place about six miles or 9'6 kilometres from the mission 
station Motito. Owing to the rough stone walls from which 
the place has its name, that were built by some clan whose 
existence has long been forgotten, the position was a strong 
one for defence, and the Batlapin and Batlaro had done what 
they could to improve it. On the 24th of July it was 
taken by storm, with a loss of three Englishmen and two 
Zulus killed on the side of the attacking party, and of 
over a hundred on the side of the defenders. The spoil 
that fell into the hands of the victors was considerable, 
consisting of about three thousand head of cattle, sixty-seven 
waggons, a number of new karosses, and a quantity of 
ostrich feathers. 

It was supposed that the hostile Batlapin and Batlaro 
were by this time sufficiently humbled, and that Kururaan 
was safe, still it was thought prudent not to retire hastily. 
On the 9th of August a resident of Kuruman, named 
William Chapman, who imprudently strolled to some distance, 
was murdered, which was taken as evidence that matters 
had not settled down. The volunteers therefore remained 
until the middle of August, when they set their faces 
homeward, and on the 19th Colonel Warren and Major 
Lanyon reached Kimberley again. 

During their absence there had not been much disturbance 
in the province. Towards morning of the 30th of June a 
band of Griquas and Batlapin attacked the hamlet of 
Campbell, but were kept at bay till sunrise, when they 
were easily put to flight. On the 18th of July a respect- 
able trader named Francis Thompson was murdered at 
Corn forth Hill, one of his sons was assaulted and wounded 

1878] Close of the Insurrection, 431 

in an atrocious manner, and his store was plundered and 
burned. Tvventy-liv^e men were subsequently arrested and 
charged with this crime, but it was impossible to prove 
their guilt, and they were acquitted. 

Colonel Warren with a strong patrol now proceeded 
through the province in search of the insurgents still under 
arms, but found none until the 11th of October, when the 
remnants of the Griqua and other clans were encountered 
at Mokolokwe's stronghold in the Langebergen. There was 
fighting for several days, during which one white man was 
killed, but the place was cleared at length, and the wretched 
conflict within the province was over. Until the end of 
the month, however, the volunteers were kept busy patrolling 
and making prisoners of noted rebels, so that some four 
hundred men were finally placed in confinement at 

On the loth of November a general amnesty was pro- 
claimed by Major Lanyon, from which were excepted only 
rebels who had been in receipt of government pay, the 
leading insurgents, and those suspected of having committed 
murder. The whole of the blacks were disarmed, and then 
the prisoners were gradually set at liberty, until none 
remained in confinement except four of the ringleaders and 
those who were suspected of being the actual murderers of 
Messrs. Burness and Thompson. 

To overawe the clans between the northern border of 
Griqualand West and the Moiopo river, some of whom had 
been openly hostile and all of whom were believed to have 
sympathised with the insurgents, Colonel Warren with a 
band of volunteers marched through the country, and visited 
every kraal of importance in it. On his approach Botlasitsi 
with some of his followers fled to Taung, where the Batlapin 
chief Mankoroane gave him shelter. Colonel Warren de- 
manded his delivery, and after some pressure, on the 25th of 
November Mankoroane surrendered him, his sons, and his 
brothers, who were sent to Kimberley and confined there as 
prisoners of state. All the chiefs in the territory professed 

432 History of Griqualand West, [1879 

submission and offered to become British subjects, so the 
expedition, having nothing more to do, returned to Kimberley, 
where it arrived on the 1st of January 1879. 

The disturbance had been quelled by local forces, with the 
aid of only three or four imperial officers, but the cost to 
the province had been £101,841. 

In March 1879 Major Lanyon was removed to a more 
important office, and his successors only held acting appoint- 
ments. The last of these was Mr. James Kose Innes, who 
assumed duty in December 1879. 

On the 31st of July 1879 a debate on the delay in pro- 
claiming the annexation act of 1877 took place in the house 
of assembly of the Cape Colony. Many members were of 
opinion that it should either be repealed or promulgated at 
once, rather than be kept in suspense any longer. The debt 
of the province had increased greatly since it was passed, 
and its financial arrangements, they thought, should be 
brought under the control of parliament without further 
delay if the territory was to be annexed at all. The prime 
minister, however, gained time by announcing his intention 
of visiting the province and ascertaining the condition of 
things there by personal observation. He was in favour of 
confederation, as opposed to unification of the different South 
African communities. 

In October of the same year he and Attorney - General 
Upington proceeded to Kimberley, where the majority of the 
residents were found opposed to annexation, though not 
violently so. A subject that occupied their attention more 
fully was that of railway communication with the seaboard, 
which the prime minister informed them could not be 
considered until the other was settled. 

In 1880 the confederation proposals of Earl Carnarvon 
were subjects of the past, the Cape Colony and the Orange 
Free State would have nothing to do with them, and there 
was no reason any longer to defer putting the annexation act 
of 1877 in force. Still the elected members of the legislative 
council of Griqualand West raised their voices against it. In 

i88o] Annexation to the Cape Colony, 433 

June 1880 the matter was discussed, when Dr. J. W. 
Matthews, one of the members for Kimberley, moved, and 
Mr. J. Paddon, member for Barkly, seconded : 

*' That in the opinion of this council the annexation by proclamation or 
otherwise of the province of Griqualand West to the Cape Colony would 
be detrimental to the best interests of the province and opposed to the 
wishes of the inhabitants." 

Upon which the attorney-general moved and the treasurer 
seconded : 

" That in the absence of any public expression of opinion on the subject it 
is presumptuous and unreasonable to ask this council to commit itself to 
the terms of the resolution, which is based upon the assumption that 
such opinion has been expressed.'' 

The official and the elected members were equal in number, 
so the voting for each resolution was the same, but the last 
was carried by the casting vote of the chairman. 

The council met for the last time on the 30th of September. 

On the 15th of October 1880 a proclamation was issued 
at Capetown by Sir George Cumine Strahan, who was then 
acting as administrator of the government, giving effect from 
that day to the act No. 39 of 1877, providing for the 
annexation of Griqualand West to the Cape Colony. 




Early in 1858, when the Basuto chief was endeavouring to 
draw the Free State into war, the Bamapela, one of the 
clans that had risen in Zoutpansberg in 1854, took up arms 
again. There is no direct proof of any kind to connect 
Moshesh with this revolt. But when a recurring event is 
always accompanied by the same phenomena, it is not un- 
reasonable to conclude that there is a connection between 
them, though that connection cannot always be explained 
or proved. So in the case of these outbreaks. They are 
always found occurring just when it was to Moshesh's 
advantage that they should occur, and hence the chief of 
the mountain has been generally suspected of having in-^ti- 
gated them. 

The outbreak began in the usual manner, by the murder 
of a party of Europeans and the seizure of their property. 
But it was speedily suppressed. Commandant-General 
Schoeman called out a strong force, upon which the best 
fighting men among the marauders retired to a fortified hill. 
The surrounding country was scoured, a great many of the 
blacks were killed, and a good deal of stock was secured. 
On the 14th of April 1858 Commandant Paul Kruger's 
division took the stronghold hy storm. The enemy rolled 
large stones down upon the advancing force and kept up a 
heavy fire, so that a good many burghers were wounded, 
though only one — Philip Minnaar by name — was killed. 
With the capture of this hill the revolt was crushed, and 
the commando soon afterwards retired. In the campaign 
the Bamapela lost about eight hundred men. 


1858] Treatment of Coloured People. 435 

The laws relating to the treatment of Bantu tribes living 
within the territory of the South African Republic under- 
went several changes in 1858. In 1853 the sale of ammuni- 
tion to these people had been prohibited under penalties 
ranging from death to confiscation of all property. The 
punishment for this ofience was now changed to a fine of 
£500, or imprisonment, or confiscation of property, accord- 
ing to the judgment of the courts of justice. Traders and 
travellers were prohibited from having on their waggons 
more than forty pounds (18*144 kilogrammes) of gunpowder 
and double that weight of lead. 

Trafiic in indentures of coloured children was forbidden 
under penalty of a fine of £100 to £500. 

In 1853 it was enacted that the commandants could allot 
locations to coloured people, which were to be considered as 
leases to be held as long as the occupants should conduct 
themselves properl}^ The new laws provided that the land- 
drosts of the difierent districts should assign locations to 
the coloured people, which should be clearly defined, and 
should be regarded as given to them for use during peace- 
able behaviour, but not as alienable property. In these 
locations the coloured people were to be under the govern- 
ment of their own chiefs or captains, and were to be 
protected from molestation by other clans or by white 
people. They were not to be permitted to form alliances 
with other tribes, or to possess munitions of war or horses. 
They were to be under the dominion of the republic, and 
those capable of performing service were liable to be 
called upon for aid in war. Trade with them was permitted 
under a few necessar}'' restrictions. 

Contracts with coloured people could only be made with 
the sanction of a fieldcornet. Those who were not under 
any recognised captain were obliged to take service with 
the farmers, bat were to be well treated, and no spirituous 
liquor was to be sold to them without leave of their masters. 
No missionaries were to be permitted to reside in the loca- 
tions without first obtaining the consent of the fieldcornet 

43^ History of the Sotith African Republic. [1858 

of the ward, who was required to consult the executive 
council of the republic before giving it. 

Some important alterations were at the same time made 
in the general laws. It was now provided that persons of 
any creed could vote at elections, but onl}^ members of the 
Dutch Reformed church were to be eligible to hold public 
offices. The landdrosts were to be appointed by the ex- 
ecutive council, but the inhabitants of the districts to which 
they were sent could reject them at any time within two 
months after their arrival. The fieldcornets and assistant 
fieldcornets were still to be elected by the white inhabi- 
tants of the wards. Their term of office was limited to five 

In February 1858 a coat of arms for the republic was 
adopted by the volksraad. It displayed a waggon and a 
golden anchor on a silver shield, with an eagle above, on 
the right side an armed farmer of the period, and on the 
left side a lion. 

Ecclesiastical disputes were still rife, and towards the 
close of this year a new controversy arose. The same society 
in the Netherlands that had sent out the reverend Mr. Van 
der HofF — who was before this date the only clergyman 
north of the Vaal — now sent out another minister, named 
Van Heiningen, who went to reside at Lydenburg. This 
clergyman and his coosistory were in favour of union with 
the synod of the Dutch Reformed church in the Cape 
Colony, while Mr. Van der HofF and his consistory were 
desirous of separation of church as well as state. 

With the reverend Mr. Van Heiningen there came also 
from the Netherlands a clergyman named Postma, who had 
previously been minister of a congregation of the Separatist 
Reformed church at Zwolle, and who was sent out by the 
synod of that body. In November 1858 he became clergy- 
man of Rustenburg. Mr. Postma held, with the Separatist 
church of the Netherlands, that the use in public worship 
of hymns which were not paraphrases of scripture was im- 
proper. In the methocl of conducting services he differed 

1859] Ecclesiastical Strife, 437 

in a few small matters from his fellow clergymen, but the 
question of the use of hj'-mns was the one upon which the 
controversy arose. 

With a view of trying to restore concord, the government 
convened a general church assembly, which met at Potchef- 
stroom on the 26th of April 1859, and continued in session 
for five days. The three clergymen of the country north of 
the Vaal — the reverend Mr. Van der Hoff, of Potchefstroom, 
the reverend Mr. Van Heiningen, of Lydenburg, and the 
reverend Mr. Postma, of Rustenburg — with the elders of 
their churches were present. In addition, the reverend Mr. 
Louw, of Fauresmith in the Free State, and the reverend 
Mr. Hofmeyr, of Colesberg in the Cape Colony, had been 
invited to assist, and took part in the proceedings. 

The first question to be decided was whether the congre- 
gation represented by Mr. Postma and its elders was part 
of the Dutch Reformed church, or not. According to the 
twentieth article of the constitution that was the state 
church, and if Mr. Postma did not belong to it he could 
not be admitted as a clergyman. The assembly decided 
that its profession of faith agreed with that of the Dutch 
Reformed church, and it therefore fulfilled the conditions 
of the twentieth article of the constitution. 

As a basis of coucord, it was next resolved that each 
clergyman should be at liberty to use the hymns generally 
received, or not, accordinof to the views of his concrregation. 

To prevent further strife by keeping out of the country 
persons with a tendency to innovations, a complete revolu- 
tion was effected. A majority- resolved that no clergyman 
should be eligible to accept the call of a congregation in 
the South African Republic unless his credentials were 
confirmed by the Cape synod and he was approved of by 
the general church assembly. 

Lastly, the reverend Mr. Postma was recognised as clergy- 
man of Rustenburg, under condition that the ministers of 
Potchefstroom and Lydenburg should from time to time 
visit that congregation. 

43^ History of the South African Repttblic. [1859 

On the 1st of August 1859 Mr. Postma's consistory 
notified that it rejected the resolutions adopted at Potchef- 
stroom in April. It declared its determination to use in 
public worship only the psalms and paraphrases of scripture 
which were put in rhyme in the Netherlands in 1773. It 
asserted its conviction that the confirmation of credentials 
of clergymen by the Cape synod was unnecessary, unsafe, 
even dangerous to an independent state. And it rejected 
entirely the interference of the clergymen of Potchefstroom 
and Lydenburg. It expressed a wish for union, but proposed 
no concessions. 

From that date the Separatist Reformed church has 
existed as an independent body in the South African Re- 
public. A little later the second congregation of this 
communion was formed at Vlakfontein in the Orange Free 
State. In February 1861 the church place there took the 
name of Reddersburg, and in November of that year the 
reverend Mr. Beyer arrived from Holland and became the 
first resident minister. Next a congregation was established 
at Burghersdorp in the Cape Colony, where a theological 
seminary has since been founded. In various places else- 
where congregations have in later years been formed, and 
the Separatist church is now a large and influential body in 
many parts of South Africa. It is thoroughly orthodox in 
its creed, and very closely resembles the church of the 
Scotch covenanters of bygone days. By those in South 
Africa not of its communion it is commonly called the 
Dopper church. 

On the 13th of September 1859 the general assembly of 
the state church came together at Pretoria, and unanimously 
resolved to unite with the Cape sj-nod. Since 1862, how- 
ever, owing to a decision of the supreme court of the Cape 
Colony, no clergymen or elders from territories beyond the 
colonial boundary can have seats in the colonial synod. 

In 1859 Commandant Jan Kock, whose name was famous 
in the early days of the Sovereignty but who had since 
been almost forgotten, came into notice again. On the 8th 

1859] Condtict of Jan Kock. 439 

of July of that year he issued from Potchefstroom a pro- 
clamation in the name and by authority of Commandant- 
General Stephanus Schoeman, in which he announced to the 
inhabitants of that part of the Free State which lies 
between the Vet and Yaal rivers that the territory occupied 
by them once belonged to Hendrik Potgieter, that 
Schoeman was Potgieter's successor, and that they could at 
any time claim protection from Schoeman. The proclamation 
was a revival of the old Winburg claim to be united with 
Potgieter's party north of the Yaal, and an invitation to the 
burghers of the territory between the Vet and the Vaal to 
rebel against the Free State government. 

On the loth of July Mr. H. Jeppe, acting state attorney 
of the South African Republic, issued a protest against 
Kock's proclamation as calculated to disturb the peace. 
Kock thereupon, on the 28th, published in the ^toie, Gazette 
a protest against Mr. Jeppe's protest. President Pretorius 
was at the time absent on a visit to Zululand, and Mr. H. 
S. Lombard was acting in his stead. He caused the whole 
issue of the ^taie Gazette to be suppressed, and on the 2nd 
of August published a proclamation that the government 
would strictly adhere to articles 4 and 27 of the constitution 
and prosecute all who should disregard them. The last of 
these had recently been modified, by giving power to the 
volksraad that had formerly been reserved to the people in 
primary assembly. As they stood then in the constitution, 
these articles were : — 

4. The people desire no extension of territory, and will allow of 
none except upon just principles when the interests of the republic 
make such extension advisable. 

27. No treaty or alliance with foreign powers or people may be 
proposed, received, or concluded, except after the volksraad has been 
called together by the president and the members of the executive 
council for the purpose of making known its views thereupon, and 
the proposal shall be approved of and confirmed or shall be rejected 
according to the decision of the members of the volksraad. 

This event is hardly worthy of notice, except as an 

indication of the spirit of discord that existed in the republic. 

Kock had numerous partisans, though they did not choose 

440 History of the South African Republic. [1859 

to rally round him on this occasion, and so his object was 
not attained. He was brought to trial and fined £37 10s. 
for the attempt to disturb the peace of the country. 

On the 11th of September 1857 the volksraad of the 
South African Republic decided to send an invitation to 
Lydenburg to come to a reconciliation in ecclesiastical and 
political matters. The invitation was forwarded by President 
Pretorius, but it did not meet with immediate response. 
Early in 1859, however, the Lydenburg people considered 
the matter favourably, and the members of the executive 
councils of the two republics had a meeting and arranged a 
basis of union. President Pretorius then convened the 
volksraad, which met at Potchefstroom in special session on 
the 2nd of May 1859. Fourteen members were present. A 
report of the proceedings, including the basis of agreement, 
was laid before them. They expressed gratification at the 
prospect of union, but instead of confirming the provisional 
agreement, instructed the executive to publish it in the 
Gazette in order that the opinion of the public at large might 
be expressed. They directed the president to bring the 
matter up again at the next ordinary session, and they then 
returned to their homes. 

Though the union was not legally completed, all public 
acts were henceforth based on the assumption that what re- 
mained to be done was only formal. Shortly after the close 
of the session President Pretorius visited Zululand and had 
a friendly interview with the chief Panda. At Utrecht he 
established provisionally a court of landdrost and heemraden, 
and also at a place which thereafter took the name of 
Marthinus-Wessel-Stroom, the district of which it was the 
seat of magistracy being termed Wakkerstroom. In Sep- 
tember 1859 the volksraad approved of these acts. 

The territory comprised in the district of Wakkerstroom 
was south of the Yaal, and in name once formed part of 
the Orange River Sovereignty, though no actual jurisdiction 
was exercised over it. In June 1854 a commission was sent 
from the Free State to confer on several matters with the 

i86o] Incorporation of Lydenhtrg, 4^1 

volksraad then in session at Rustenburg. The volksraad 
claimed, as the southern boundary of the territory to which 
the convention of 1852 applied, the Klip river from its 
source to its junction with the Vaal, and thence the last- 
named stream, the Klip river being the one running through 
Zeekoevlei. he Free State made no objection to this at 
the time, nor did it protest against the formation of the 
district of Wakkerstroom by the volksraad of the South 
African Republic in 1859. 

On the 25th of April 1860 Mr. J. H. Grobbc4aar, then 
acting president of the South African Republic, issued a pro- 
clamation defining the Klip river as a boundary, and a 
commission which was sent from Bloemfontein to confer 
with him and the executive council made no opposition, but 
even proposed that the boundary question should be brought 
before the volksraads of both countries with a view of Klip 
River being approved of. On the 14th of February 1862, 
however, the volksiaad of the Orange Free State declared 
that the upper Vaal river was the boundary, and appointed 
a commission to erect a beacon at the source of the stream. 
At the same time a guarantee was given that the rights of 
individuals in the district of Wakkerstroom would not be 
disturbed. Negotiations between the two republics and re- 
solutions adopted by the volksraads on various occasions 
failed to effect an amicable settlement of the dispute, but 
the district remained in fact a portion of the northern 

There was a party, principally residents in the district of 
Potchefstroom, opposed to the union of Lydenburg with the 
South African Republic. They used no other arguments, 
however, than those which originated in the old quarrel 
between the adherents of Andries Pretorius and Hendiik 
Potgieter, and they were a decided minority. 

On the 3rd of April 1860 representatives of the two re- 
publics met at Pretoria. There were present fifteen members 
of the volksraad of the districts Potchefstroom, Rustenburg, 
Pretoria, and Zoutpansberg, forming the South African 

442 History of the South African Republic, [i860 

Republic, and twelve members of the volksraad of the dis- 
tricts Lydenburg and Utrecht, forming the Republic of 
Lydenburg. On the following day the articles of union 
were ratified. 

The constitution, flag, and coat of arms of the South 
African Republic were adopted by the united state. The 
districts forming the Republic of Lydenburg retained a 
council to make purely local laws, but such law^s were to 
be submitted for the approval of the executive council and 
the volksraad. They were to be entitled to choose two 
members of the executive council, and to be represented in 
the volksraad by nine members. Their church was not to 
be forced into uniformity with the others. They were to 
retain their own commandant-general for a time. 

Pretoria was chosen as the seat of government, and the 
heads of departments were to be stationed there within two 

One of the articles of agreement rescinded the sentence 
of banishment passed by the landdrost of Potchefstroom 
against Mr. J. A. Smellekamp in June 1854, and required 
the fine of £37 10s., imposed by the volksraad in June of 
that year, to be repaid to him. 

In October 1859 the volksraad resolved to found a village 
on the watershed between Klipspruit and the highest eastern 
branch of the Olifants river. The resolution was carried into 
effect shortly afterwards. The village was called Nazareth 
until 1874, when the name was changed to Middelburg, by 
which it has since been known. 

On the 2nd of February 1860 President Pretorius ob- 
tained from the volksraad of the South African Republic six 
months leave of absence. He had been elected president of 
the Orange Free State, and his partisans hoped that within 
the six months a plan of union would be devised. But after 
his departure from Potchefstroom, and particularly after the 
union with Lydenburg, the opinions of many people north 
of the Yaal underwent a change. The old enmity of the 
Lydenburg faction had a great deal to do with it. They 

i86o] Dissension in the Republic, 4^.3 

were jealous of the younger Pretorius, as they had been of 
his father, and they felt little inclination to aid in augment- 
ing his dignity. They began to argue that union would 
confer much greater advantages on the Free State than on 
them. Shutting their eyes to the masses of barbarians on 
their northern and eastern borders, they spoke of Moshesh 
as if he was the only chief whose power was to be feared, 
and as if the object of the unionist party in the Free State 
was the purely selfish one of getting assistance to deal with 

Hostility to Mr. Pretorius was clearly exhibited by the 
volksraad immediately after the union with Lydenburg. A 
resolution was carried that he must perform no duties north 
of the Vaal during the six months, in other words that he 
must not interfere in any way with matters there, and that 
on the expiration of his leave he must give an account of 
his proceedings. Mr. Schubart, the state secretary, was 
dismissed for having accompanied him to Bloemfontein, and 
Mr. J. H. Struben was appointed to that office. 

The leave would expire on the 2nd of August. On the 
28th of July the volksraad of tbe Free State resolved to send 
a commission to Pretoria to ask for an extension of the term, 
as the services of Mr. Pretorius could not then be dispensed 
with. They desired more time to devise a plan of union. 
They gave the president three months leave from the Free 
State, and on the same day he left for Potchefstroom. 

On the 10th of September the volksraad of the South 
African Republic met at Pretoria. Mr. Cornelis Potgieter, 
landdrost of Lydenburg, was. its leading spirit. The Free 
State commission was present, but met with a cooler recep- 
tion than had been anticipated. Mr. Pretorius appeared, in 
conformity with the resolution passed in April, and offered 
to make a statement. It was provided in the constitution 
that the president during his tenure of office should follow 
no other occupation. The volksraad took advantage of this, 
decided that it was illegal for any one to be president of the 
South African Republic and of the Orange Free State at the 

444 History of the South African Republic , [i860 

same time, and called upon Mr. Pretorius to resign one 
office or the other. There was a warm controversy, at the 
close of which Mr. Pretorius resigned the office of president 
of the South African Republic. Mr. J. H. Grobbelaar, who 
had been acting president since the 2nd of February, was 
requested by the volksraad to continue in office. 

The partisans of Mr. Pretorius hereupon resolved to resist. 
A mass meeting was held at Potchefstroom on the 8th and 
9th of October. Mr. Pretorius was there, and with him was 
his former adversary Stephanus Schoeman, who now professed 
to be one of his staunchest adherents. The meeting resolved 
almost unanimously : 

(a) That the volksraad no longer enjoyed its confidence, 
and must be held as having ceased to exist. 

(&) That Mr. Pretorius should remain president of the 
South African Republic, and have a year's leave of absence 
in order to bring about union with the Free State. 

(c) That Mr. Stephanus Schoeman should act as president 
during the absence of Mr. Pretorius, and Mr. Grobbelaar be 

{di) That Mr. Struben should be dismissed as state secre- 
tary, and Mr. Schubart be restored to that office. 

(e) That before the return of Mr. Pretorius to resume 
his duties a new volksraad should be elected. 

A committee of five — Messrs. D. Steyn, Preller, Lombard, 
Spruyt, and Bodenstein — was appointed to see these resolu- 
tions carried out. The electors were appealed to, but the 
voting was so arranged that only a thousand burghers 
recorded their opinions. Of these, more than seven hundred 
approved of the resolutions of the Potchefstroom meeting. 
Thereupon Mr. Schoeman assumed duty as acting president, 
Mr. Willem Janse van Rensburg became acting commandant- 
general, and Mr. Philip Coetzer, of Lydenburg, a member of 
the executive council. 

On the 14th of January 1861 the volksraad that had been 
dissolved by the revolution met at Pretoria on the suuimons 
of Acting President Schoeman. He held his office by the 

i86ij Dissension in the RepiLblic. 445 

same authority that had dismissed this body, yet so incon- 
sistent and fickle was he that he now acknowledged its legal 
existence. The council of war of the republic met at Pretoria 
at the same time, and the committee appointed by the Pot- 
chefstroom meeting was there also. Antagonism to the 
volksraad was so strongly expressed by most of those who 
were thus drawn together that the majority of the members 
resigned after a session of a couple of hours. 

If the acting president had been a man of sound judgment 
he would after this at least have let matters rest. Instead 
of doing so, with his countenance the volksraad came together 
again under protection of an armed force, and ordered legal 
proceedings to be instituted against the Potchefstroom com- 
mittee. On the 13th of February the members of the com- 
mittee were brought to trial for sedition. The court con- 
sisted of two landdrosts, one of whom was Cornelis Potgieter, 
of Lydenburg, their bitterest political opponent. The accused 
were found guilty by a jury, when Messrs. Steyn, Preller, 
Lombard, and Spruyt were sentenced to pay each a fine of 
£100, and Bodenstein to pay a fine of £15. - 

This proceeding caused great commotion throughout the 
republic. A court of twelve members was elected by the 
people to settle matters, but beyond making some changes in 
the executive council it did nothing. Then Acting President 
Schoeman, to support his authority, assembled an armed 
force, which he placed under the orders of Mr. J. C. Steyn. 
Upon this, Commandant Paul Kruger, of Rustenburg, called 
out the burghers of his district, and marched to Pretoria 
with a determination to drive -ovX Schoeman and establish a 
better government. 

In order to prevent civil war, a number of influential 
men living in and near Pretoria interposed. At their recom- 
mendation, three men were elected from each of the com- 
mandos to form a court to decide what should be done, and 
Mr. M. W. Pretorius was requested to act as its chairman. 
This court resolved that a new volksraad should be elected, 
to whose decisions all must bow ; that the existing govern- 

446 History of the South African Republic, [1862 

ment should retain office until the meeting of the new 
volksraad ; that prosecutions for political offences should 
cease ; and that the armed burghers should immediately 
return to their homes. 

These resolutions were acted upon. The commandants 
disbanded their forces, and at the close of the year 1861 all 
was again quiet. 

The volksraad, elected according to this arrangement, 
met at Pretoria on the 2nd of April 1862, and continued 
in session until the 26th of the same month. It decided to 
dismiss Mr. Schoeman, the members of the executive council, 
and the heads of departments. It appointed Willem C. 
Janse van Rensburg acting president until an election could 
take place, the ballot papers of which were to be sent in 
before the 13th of October, when it would hold another 
session. Further it appointed provisionally J. H. Visagie 
state secretary, J. H. Yalckenaar state attorney, M. J. 
Viljoen, D. Erasmus, and W. Coetzer members of the 
executive council, and Theunis Snyman commandant-general. 

Acting President Schoeman refused to submit to this 
decision, and a strong party supported him. At Potchef- 
stroom the landdrost, Jan Steyn, declared for him ; and 
when Van Rensburg visited that village, he and the officers 
whom he tried to appoint were driven away. 

For several months there were two acting presidents and 
two rival governments in the South African Republic. At 
length Commandant Paul Kruger resolved to put an end to 
this anarchy. The volksraad had appointed Theunis Snyman, 
of Pretoria, commandant-general ; but this officer volunteered 
to serve under Kruger. So also did Joseph van Dyk, 
commandant-general of Lydenburg. 

Having driven Schoeman and his adherents from Pretoria, 
on the 7th of October Commandant Kruger, with a force of 
between eight hundred and a thousand men, and three pieces 
of artillery, invested Potchefstroom. Schoeman held the 
village with between three and four hundred men and one 
cannon. Fire was opened from Kruger's batter}'-, but as the 

1862] Disse?ision in the Republic, 447 

object was only to frighten Schoeman into submission, the 
guns were so directed that during two days of what the 
villagers were pleased to call "the bombardment," the only 
damage done was to the gables of a few houses. 

On the 9th Schoeman, who was not wanting in courage, 
made a sudden sortie, in hope of capturing Kruger's artillery. 
Instead of this, however, he was driven back with the loss 
of his own cannon and with one man killed and himself 
and seven others wounded. Kruger's loss was two men 
wounded. This event disheartened Schoeman's partisans, 
and that night he and his principal adherents fled into the 
Free State. President Pretorius, who on the 30th of Sep- 
tember had obtained two months leave from the volksraad 
of the Free State purposely to visit the northern republic 
and endeavour to restore order, had arrived at Potchefstroom 
the day after the investment commenced. Not being able 
to obtain a suspension of hostilities, he accompanied the 
fugitives over the Vaal. 

On the 10th of October Commandant Kruger took pos- 
session of Potchefstroom. The council of war issued a pro- 
clamation banishing Stephanus Schoeman and the landdrost 
Steyn from the South African Republic ; and Schoeman's 
principal adherents were fined, Jan Kock among others 
being sentenced to confiscation of all his property. Kruger 
then with his whole force marched to Klip River, where it 
was reported that Schoeman was collecting his adherents 
again. He left Potchefstroom unprotected. Upon this, 
Schoeman fairly doubled upon his opponent, for he returned 
to Potchefstroom and took possession of the village. Some 
eight hundred men rallied round him there. Kruger 
hastened back, and the two commandos were ready to fall 
upon each other when President Pretorius interposed. 

Kruger having consented to a discussion of matters, a 
tent was pitched midway between the two camps, and on 
the 24th and 2oth of November the negotiations were held. 
Schoeman entrusted his case to President Pretorius and 
Commandant D. C. Uys, Commandant Paul Kruger and Mr, 

44^ History of the South African Republic, [1863 

S. T. Prinsloo appeared on the other side. They agreed 
that all sentences of banishment, confiscation, and fines 
should be suspended, that an election of a president and of 
a commandant-general should take place as soon as order 
was restored, that in the meantime the administration 
appointed by the volksraad should remain in office, and 
that all criminal charges connected with the disturbances 
should be submitted to a court created for the purpose, over 
which Mr. Walter Harding, chief justice of Natal, or, failing 
his consent. Advocate H. A. L. Ilamelberg, of Bloem- 
fontein, was to be requested to preside. The burghers then 

On the 12th of January 1863 the special court should 
have opened its session at Pretoria. Instead of that, how- 
ever, Schoeman with an armed force entrenched himself 
in the village, and declared that he would not submit to its 
decisions, as its members were his opponents. Kruger then 
with a few burghers of his own district marched to protect 
the court. He formed a camp at a little distance from 
Pretoria, and called upon the burghers everywhere through- 
out the republic to join him and establish order. His appeal 
was responded to, and from all sides men gathered to his 
standard. Taking only two unarmed burghers with him, he 
entered Pretoria and announced that he did not wish 
to shed a drop of blood, but that